Author(s): Iveti V, Kersnik J, KlemencKeti Z, vab I, Kolek M,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To determine the views of Slovenian family physicians on medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) and learn more about potential types of treatment for such patients. METHODS: Five focus groups, comprising 24 family medicine physicians (FMPs) from two Slovenian University centres, were convened. Conversations were led towards the research objectives by professionally trained researchers and followed a preliminarily established protocol. Qualitative content analysis of audio and transcripts of the discussions was performed using ATLAS.ti software to establish categories ('codes') relevant to issues regarding MUS. RESULTS: Slovenian FMPs emphasized the importance of good communication and trust between physicians and patients with MUS. Systemic barriers to effective management of MUS arising from the Slovenian health system were highlighted. FMPs stressed the need for more education in the recognition and treatment of MUS in primary care. From the discussions, 64 codes comprising broader research fields of MUS were developed, then grouped into a further eight categories: communication; doctor-patient relationship; causes of MUS; patient characteristics; physician characteristics; courses of action so far; positive relationship with patients; proposals for treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The results are valuable in terms of investigating the treatment of patients with MUS in Slovenia, thereby opening new avenues of research on the subject of MUS.
This article was published in J Int Med Res
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy