General practitioners' awareness and understanding of vocational rehabilitation in schizophrena: A Tasmanian perspective
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Crawley, TFO and Fitzgerald, NS and Graham, H, General practitioners' awareness and understanding of vocational rehabilitation in schizophrena: A Tasmanian perspective, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 26, (3) pp. 189-196. ISSN 1052-2263 (2007) [Refereed Article]
Objective: Meaningful employment is a common goal for those with schizophrenia  and can lead to significant clinical gains . General practitioners provide a pivotal role in the care of individuals with schizophrenia, but lack of integration between clinical and rehabilitation services is a significant barrier to receiving vocational rehabilitation . This study investigated general practitioners' awareness and understanding of the benefits of vocational rehabilitation in the treatment of schizophrenia. Method: A 20-item questionnaire was mailed to 498 Tasmanian general practitioners accessed via the mailing lists of the Divisions of General Practice from each of the three Tasmanian regions: South, North, and Northwest. Responses were received anonymously from 102 participants. Results are reported as the percentage of responding general practitioners endorsing each item on the questionnaire. Results: The majority of respondents indicated average knowledge of schizophrenia and the benefits of meaningful employment for these patients. However, results indicated low rates of referral for vocational rehabilitation, which participants attributed to restricted information about available services, poor integration of clinical and rehabilitation services, and lack of time to discuss vocational rehabilitation goals. Conclusions: The current sample of Tasmanian general practitioners recognised the benefits of vocational rehabilitation in the management of schizophrenia, however they lack the appropriate resources (information, consultation time) to effect appropriate referrals to these services. Improved information dissemination to general practitioners, in particular information relating to available services and referral pathways, may improve referral rates for patients with schizophrenia to appropriate vocational rehabilitation services. © 2007 IOS Press. All rights reserved.
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