ABSTRACT: Evaluation of GPs diagnostic knowledge and treatment practice in detection and treatment of early schizophrenia: a French postal survey in Brittany.
Evaluating French general practitioners (GPs) diagnostic knowledge and practice in the detection and treatment of early schizophrenia as well as needs and preferences with specialist services.
A postal survey comprising 27 questions was conducted among 2,039 GPs from three counties of Western France. Composite scores were calculated to determine a level of diagnostic knowledge.
A total of 515 GPs (25.3 %) responded to the survey. The mean score to determine a level of knowledge on the most important aspects in detecting early stages of schizophrenia was 5.3 ± 2.50 [median = 6 (range 0-10)]. The mean score to determine the overall knowledge of schizophrenia was 8.1 ± 2.98 [median = 8 (range 1-16)]. The majority of surveyed GPs (76.1 %) would treat early schizophrenia pharmacologically. A majority of GPs (53.9 %) advise an insufficient duration of anti-psychotic treatment for first episode psychosis. The vast majority (90.8 %) were in favour of a specialized outpatient service.
French GPs tend to have a deficit in diagnostic knowledge and practice in detection and treatment of early schizophrenia. It seems important to provide GPs with continuing medical education (CME) on detection and management of early schizophrenia and to set up relevant specialized outpatient services.