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Negative stance towards treatment in psychosocial assessments: The role of personalised recommendations in promoting acceptance.

Bergen, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-6278-7668 and McCabe, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-2041-7383 (2021). Negative stance towards treatment in psychosocial assessments: The role of personalised recommendations in promoting acceptance.. Social Science & Medicine, 114082. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114082

Abstract

People presenting to the emergency department with self-harm or thoughts of suicide undergo a psychosocial assessment involving recommendations for e.g. contact with other practitioners, charity helplines or coping strategies. In these assessments, patients frequently adopt a negative stance towards potential recommendations. Analysing 35 video-recorded liaison psychiatry psychosocial assessments from an emergency department in England (2018-2019), we ask how these practitioners transform this negative stance into acceptance. We show that practitioners use three steps to anticipate and address negative stance (1) asking questions about the patient's experience/understanding that help the patient to articulate a negative stance (e.g., "what do you think about that"); (2) accepting or validating the reasons underlying the negative stance (e.g., "that's a very real fear and thought to have"); and (3) showing the patient that their reasons were incorporated in the recommendation (e.g., "it's telephone support if you're a bit more uncomfortable with face to face"). These steps personalise the recommendation based on the patient's specific experiences and understanding. When practitioners followed all three of these steps, the patient moved from a negative stance to acceptance in 84% of cases. When practitioners made a recommendation but did not follow all three steps, the patient moved from a negative stance to acceptance in only 14% of cases. It is not the case that each communication practice works on its own to promote patient acceptance, rather Steps 1 and 2 build on each other sequentially to develop and demonstrate shared understanding of the patient's negative stance. In this way, acceptance and validation play an indispensable role in addressing a patient's concerns about treatment.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher Keywords: Advice, Treatment, Communication, Conversation analysis, Self-harm, Suicide, Emergency department
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Date available in CRO: 03 Aug 2021 11:29
Date deposited: 3 August 2021
Date of acceptance: 24 May 2021
Date of first online publication: 4 June 2021
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/26543
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 4 June 2022 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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