5 steps a GP can take to help distressed patients

Don't rely on screening tools too much, say US experts

Encouraging distressed patients to turn up to a consult with a list of concerns is the first step in helping them manage their feelings of stress, anxiety, worry or sadness, according to a new five-step strategy.

GP consult

The practice pointer for encouraging behaviour change has been developed by US experts in primary care, psychiatry and psychology with input from patients.

The five steps, developed by a University of Florida-led team and published in the BMJ, are:

  1. Invite patients to disclose distress. Encourage