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Title: Screening and referral is not enough: a qualitative exploration of barriers to access and uptake of mental health services in patients with cardiovascular diseases
Contributor(s): Collopy, C M (author); Cosh, S M  (author)orcid ; Tully, P J  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2021-01-08
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1186/s12913-020-06030-7
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Abstract: Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are commonly comorbid with mental health disorders, portending poorer cardiac prognosis. Despite the high prevalence of depression and anxiety, and guidelines recommending routine depression screening and referral, uptake of mental healthcare in CVD populations remains low. Reasons for the underutilisation of mental health and psychological services for this population remain largely unknown.
Methods: Thirteen CVD patients with clinically significant psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety and/or stress) participated in one-on-one in-depth semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.
Results: Barriers to uptake included the timing of referral and screening, with patients reporting a need for longer term follow-up. A lack of information provision and understanding around mental health and services, especially following cardiac-events were further barriers. A reluctance to report mental health or engage in services was also identified, with patients indicating a preference for informal peer support networks. A range of practical barriers such as mobility, transport and cost were also reported.
Conclusions: Longer term follow-up and routine mental health assessment may be beneficial to facilitate use of mental health services. Upskilling of practitioners around mental health may be a further avenue to promote information provision and enhance service use. Further focus on enhancing informal peer support may be a valuable initial approach for the CVD population. The implications for improving services and enhancing service use are discussed.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: BMC Health Services Research, v.21, p. 1-11
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1472-6963
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
110201 Cardiology (incl. Cardiovascular Diseases)
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases
920209 Mental Health Services
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200305 Mental health services
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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