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Choosing the appropriate treatment setting: which information and decision-making needs do adult inpatients with mental disorders have? A qualitative interview study

Authors Kivelitz L, Härter M, Mohr J, Melchior H, Goetzmann L, Warnke MH, Kleinschmidt S, Dirmaier J

Received 30 January 2018

Accepted for publication 24 February 2018

Published 15 May 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 823—833


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Laura Kivelitz,1 Martin Härter,1 Jil Mohr,1 Hanne Melchior,1 Lutz Goetzmann,2 Max Holger Warnke,3 Silke Kleinschmidt,4 Jörg Dirmaier1

1Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; 2Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Segeberg Hospital, Bad Segeberg, Germany; 3Specialist Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, MediClin Seepark Klinik, Bad Bodenteich, Germany; 4Specialist Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Curtius Klinik, Bad Malente-Gremsmühlen, Germany

Background: Decisions on medical treatment setting are perceived as important but often difficult to make for patients with mental disorders. Shared decision-making as a strategy to decrease decisional conflict has been recommended, but is not yet widely implemented. This study aimed to investigate the information needs and the decision-making preferences of patients with mental disorders prior to the decision for a certain treatment setting. The results will serve as a prerequisite for the development of a high-quality patient decision aid (PtDA) regarding the treatment setting decision.
We conducted retrospective individual semi-structured interviews with n=24 patients with mental disorders in three psychotherapeutic inpatient care units. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, coded, and content-analyzed.
Results: The majority of the patients wanted to be involved in the decision-making process. They reported high information needs regarding treatment options in order to feel empowered to participate adequately in the decision for a certain treatment setting. However, some patients did not want to participate or receive information, for example, because of their high burden of mental disorder. Whereas the majority were satisfied with the extent they were involved in the decision, few participants felt sufficiently informed about treatment options. Most patients reported that a decision aid regarding an appropriate treatment setting would have been helpful for them. Important information that should be included in a PtDA was general information about mental illness, effective treatment options, specific information about the different treatment settings, and access to treatment.
Discussion: The identified information and decision-making needs provide a valuable basis for the development of a PtDA aiming to support patients and caregivers regarding the decision for an adequate treatment setting. As preferences for participation vary among patients and also depend on the current mental state, a flexible approach is needed to meet patients’ individual wishes and needs.

mental disorders, needs assessment, psychotherapy, treatment decision, treatment setting, shared decision-making, qualitative interviews

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