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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


FONTANELLA, Bruno José Barcellos  and  TURATO, Egberto Ribeiro. Doctor-patient relationship barriers to substance dependents seeking treatment. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.4, pp.439-447. ISSN 0034-8910.

INTRODUCTION: Knowing the barriers substance dependents come across when seeking treatment has medical and public health implications. The study's aim was to formulate hypothesis on psychological and social and familiar variables forming subjective barriers to early treatment. METHODS: A qualitative exploratory study was conducted in an intentional sample (selected through saturation and variety of types) of 13 substance dependents who sought treatment. In-depth open-question semi-structured interviews were conducted and the transcribed data underwent qualitative analysis. RESULTS: The main barriers in doctor-patient relationship were fear of doctors and facilities which are regarded as "sadistic," and the perception of doctor-patient "distancing." CONCLUSIONS: Health care professionals should take into consideration the existence of barriers to treatment and should bear this in mind when promoting their services. Issues such as "fear of being abused" and "doctors wouldn't know how to treat me" should be covered in structured questionnaires of further quantitative studies.

Keywords : Substance-related disorders [psychology]; Alcohol-related disorders [psychology]; Patient acceptance of health care [psychology]; Medical care; Interview, psychological; Professional-patient relationship; Physician-patient relations; Office visits [utilization]; Qualitative research.

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