The physicians’ perception of the generali practitioner management of mental disorders: importance, difficulties and perspectives


Ghanem Amara
Mouna Ayachi
Selma Ben Nasr
Béchir Ben Hadj Ali


Background : Mental disorders are common in general medicine consultation. According to international studies, their prevalence in primary care varies from 34 to 54%. In Tunisia, the general practitioner role, as well as the difficulties that encountered them in the management of these disorders, are little known.
Aim : The objective of this work was to pull opinions of the general doctors and the psychiatrists concerning the current role of the general doctors, the difficulties that encountered them, as well as the possible solutions in promoting mental disorder management.
Methods :It was a descriptive investigation carried out in Mars 2008, near 200 doctors (100 general practitioners and 100 psychiatrists). A questionnaire was drawn up with two parts: the first for collecting the doctors’ opinions concerning general practitioner mental disorder management and the strategies of improving it. The second was devoted to the assessment of the collaboration between general practitioners and psychiatrists.
Results : The answer’s rate was 45.5%. The majority of the general doctors qualified as secondary their role in the mental disorder management and limited to the tracking of patients with mental disorders. This modest implication of the general practitioners in the treatment and the follow-up of patients with mental disorders could be explained by the lack of competence and training recognized by them and also reported by the majority of psychiatrists. Doctors in
this investigation have proposed to set up training programs for managing mental diseases and to organize regularly common scientific conferences between general practitioners and psychiatrists in order to improve their collaboration.
Conclusion :This investigation has permitted to identify reciprocal expectations of general practitioners and psychiatrists. They both agreed upon the need of a more important implication of the general practitioners in the mental disorder management and the necessity of psychiatrists’ involvement in the general practitioners training and information.


Psychiatry, Management, Mental disorders, general practitioners, psychiatrists



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