It is generally agreed that it is important to take into consideration users’ preferences in the choice of their allocated primary mental health professional (PMHP). Our aim was to explore experiences of users, care givers and psychiatrists on users’ initial choice and request of change the PMHP in Community Mental Health Services (CMHSs).
Three focus groups were conducted in March-May 2017 in two CMHSs in Modena, Northern Italy. Transcripts were analyzed using MaxQda 11.
Six users, 7 psychiatrists and 5 care givers were enrolled. Casual or fixed allocation is commonly performed (so-called “fixed rota”). Lack of empathy and a bad therapeutic relationship seem to be the most important reasons to change the PMHP.
Neither users nor professionals are generally involved in the initial choice of the PMHP. The availability of evidence-based guidelines for managing users’ request to choose/change the PHMP may improve quality of care.