Contact A Counsellor

counsellor button


teen suicide icon


panic anxiety icon

panic anxiety icon

#MindfulMondays with Miss SA

teen suicide icon


Research on Depression in the Workplace.

For more information please click here



email subscribers list

To subscribe to SADAG's newsletter, click here

To view previous newsletters - click here


Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM Volume 8 Issue1

Click here for more info


journalists crew making newspaper

If you are a journalist writing a story contact Kayla on 011 234 4837  media@anxiety.org.za


MySchool Facebook banner Nov

It’s the small things that make a BIG difference. Sign up for the “My School | My Village | My Planet” Card and start making a difference to Mental Health in South Africa today.

Click Here


cope with cancer book

Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way healthcare information is delivered to low literacy communities.

The customizable 16-page book, read by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood by everyone across the world.

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 100+ titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 45 countries.

suicide speaking book

Not very, according to recently published research.

Goss and her colleagues (2008) wanted to test how much psychiatrists involve patients in therapeutic decisions and to determine whether there were any defining characteristics (on either the patient’s or the psychiatrist’s part) that contributed to patient involvement.

What’s so great about patient involvement? Well, previous research has shown that the more involved a patient is in the decision-making of their treatment, generally the better the outcomes for the patient. They tend to feel better, sooner, than patients who are uninvolved in the process. Patients who are involved also report higher satisfaction rates with treatment.

This is a small study of only 16 Italian psychiatrists, but the researchers examined 80 transcripts from audiotaped first outpatient sessions. These sessions were rated with a standardized coding system that was developed for this kind of research (called OPTION). Objectively and reliably coding sessions of this nature can be difficult and somewhat monotonous work. So researchers check the raters’ coding skills against one another to ensure that they all are in general agreement.

Despite the study’s small size, the researchers had a significant finding — that psychiatrists made minimal attempts to involve patients in their care:

Psychiatrists showed poor patient involvement abilities parallel to previous findings in psychiatry and primary care. They need to be encouraged to share treatment decisions with their patients and to apply patient involvement skills.

There are a few red flags with the study. There may be cultural differences at play here that may not be replicated on other populations of psychiatrists. And certainly one can’t make broad generalizations based upon a sample size of only 16 professionals. Last, the researchers examined only the first session of psychiatrist-patient interactions. The nature of any first session in mental health treatment is almost always focused on information-gathering and may not be representative of a standard session with the psychiatrist.
Seeing as psychiatrists are trained first and foremost as medical doctors, that they would adopt the medical model’s attitude toward patient involvement is perhaps not that surprising. Many physicians still see patient involvement as something that is a major problem with modern medicine, not the solution.

The world is slowly changing, however. If you want to keep up on the latest regarding these kinds of issues — patient empowerment, patient involvement, partnering with their health care provider, and patient networking — I encourage you to subscribe to the e-Patients.net blog, where these topics are blogged about every day.


Our Sponsors

Our Partners