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Users’ choice and change of allocated primary mental health professional in community-based mental health services: A scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Giulia Rioli, Silvia Ferrari, Claire Henderson, Riccardo Vandelli, Giacomo Galli, Alessandro Minarini, Gian Maria Galeazzi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

King's Authors


Background: The recovery model in mental health care emphasizes users’ right to be involved in key decisions of their care, including choice of one’s primary mental health professional (PMHP). Aims: The aim of this article was to provide a scoping review of the literature on the topic of users’ choice, request of change and preferences for the PMHP in community mental health services. Method: A search of the PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and PsycINFO for papers in English was performed. Additional relevant research articles were identified through the authors’ personal bibliography. Results: A total of 2,774 articles were screened and 38 papers were finally included. Four main aspects emerged: (1) the importance, for users, to be involved in the choice of their PMHP; (2) the importance, for users, of the continuity of care in the relationship with their PMHP; (3) factors of the user/PMHP dyad influencing users’ preferences; and (4) the effect of choice on the treatment outcomes. Conclusion: While it is generally agreed that it is important to consider users’ preferences in choosing or requesting to change their PMHP, little research on this topic is available. PMHPs’ and other stakeholders’ views should also be explored in order to discuss ethical and practical issues.

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