Patients' treatment requests, psychiatrists' understanding of patient requests, and adherence to treatment : a thesis presented ... for the degree of Master of Science in Clinical Psychology at Massey University
This study aimed to determine the treatment requests of patients in the initial psychiatric interview and to compare the relative preference or these requests to those of other patient samples. It also aimed to determine psychiatrists accuracy in estimating the importance their patients placed on their requests, and to explore the relationship between psychiatrist understanding of patient requests to patient adherence to treatment. The study was carried out on 269 consecutive new patients to a psychiatric unit attached to a public hospital of whom 85 completed a 14 item Patient Request Form before their initial interview, and their psychiatrists completed an equivalent form at the conclusion of the interview. Patients adhered if they returned for their next appointment. Generally it was found that patients wanted psychologically based treatments most and medical oriented treatment least, and that the rank orders of the requests provided significant positive correlations with all other samples. It was found that psychiatrists significantly underestimated six request categories and overestimated one, supporting nine of the 14 differences hypothesised. No significant relationship was found between adherence and psychiatrists understanding of patients requests. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for helping therapists understand their patients requests.