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Title: Evaluation of a problem solving intervention with emotionally distressed general practice patients
Author: Kunkler, Alison Jane
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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Individuals who are unable to cope feel anxious and/or depressed and are unable to make decisions and solve problems. Most people have to make decisions every day. Being unable to solve problems and make decisions further enhances the individual's sense of being unable to cope. The aims of this study were to determine if it is possible to identify people who are at risk of developing anxiety and/or depression, and to teach them coping skills which help them to manage their current difficulties more effectively and prevent the development of future problems. The population selected were patients attending their G.P. for an ordinary clinic appointment as it is known that a significant proportion of patients attending their G.P. are emotionally distressed, and a proportion of these patients will develop anxiety and depression which will require professional help. Out of 812 patients screened, 279 were found to be troubled by anxiety and/or depression and were suitable for inclusion in the study. Patients were invited to attend groups and were randomly allocated to control and experimental groups. All group attenders received relaxation training and in addition the experimental group received generic problem solving and decision making training. The groups comprised of five sessions plus one individual session. Patients were assessed before and after the intervention, and at 6 month follow-up. Assessments included measures of anxiety and depression, and problem solving skills. Ninety-one patients attended one or more groups and it appears some self selection occurred when patients decided whether or not to attend groups. Attenders were more distressed than non-attenders, and more of the experimental group staged they were depressed at the time of screening. However by the start of the groups there were no significant differences between control and experimental groups on GHQ28 scores. Following the intervention there was little evidence to support the main hypothesis of the study that the experimental group would be less anxious and/or depressed, and better able to cope and solve problems than the control group. However when patients were compared who had attended 3 or more sessions, and so had had a fair degree of exposure to the problem solving and decision making package, it was found that the experimental group were better problem solvers than the control group. Similar results were found for patients selected for being more distressed at the start of the groups. Patients who attended groups improved more, or more quickly, than those who did not attend groups.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available