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Group supervision for general practitioners: a case study

AimGroup supervision is a sparsely researched method for professional development in general practice. The aim of this study was to explore general practitioners’ (GPs’) experiences of the benefits of group supervision for improving the treatment of mental disorders. MethodsOne long-established supervision group was studied closely for six months by observing the group sessions, and by interviewing GPs and their supervisors, individually and collectively. The interviews were recorded digitally and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed using systematic text condensation. ResultsThe GPs found participation in a supervision group to be a meaningful and professionally valuable activity. They experienced that supervision had improved their psychiatric skills, and that they had become more confident in carrying out talking therapies. Improvements in referral letterswere also reported in relation to the communication with local community psychiatry centres. Furthermore, the GPs experienced that supervision had a positive ‘spill-over effect’ on everyday consultations, and that the supervision group became a forum for coping with other difficulties in their professional life as well. Trust and continuity were considered important prerequisites for disclosing and discussing professional problems. ConclusionThe results of this study indicate that participation in a supervision group can be beneficial for maintaining and developing GPs’ skills in dealing with patients with mental health problems. Group supervision influenced other areas of GPs’ professional lives aswell. However, more studies are needed to assess the impact of supervision groups.


Helena Galina Nielsen, Annette Sofie Davidsen, Rikke Dalsted, Marius Brostr?m Kousgaard

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