Factors associated with surgeon recognition of mental health care opportunities and inclination to attend to mental health

Sina Ramtin, David Ring, Heather Vallier, Philip R. Wolinsky, Anna N. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: A notable percentage of people that die by suicide have had a medical visit within a few months of their death. In a survey-based experiment, we evaluated: 1) whether there are any surgeon, setting, or patient factors associated with surgeon rating of mental health care opportunities, and 2) if there are any surgeon, setting, or patient factors associated with likelihood of mental health referrals. Methods: One hundred and twenty-four upper extremity surgeons of the Science of Variation Group viewed five scenarios of a person with one orthopedic condition. The following aspects of the scenarios were independently randomized: Social worker or psychologist available, office workload, socioeconomic status, gender, age, mental health factors, mental health clues, and diagnosis. Results: Accounting for potential confounders, surgeon likelihood of discussing mental health was associated with cancer, disadvantaged socioeconomic status, mental health factors other than being shy, prior suicide attempt, history of physical or emotional abuse, isolation, and when the office is not busy. Factors independently associated with higher likelihood of referring a patient for mental health care included cancer, disadvantaged socioeconomic status, mental health cues, mental health risk factors, and a social worker or psychologist available in the office. Conclusion: Using random elements in fictitious scenarios we documented that specialist surgeons are aware of and attuned to mental health care opportunities, are motivated to discuss notable cues, and will make mental health referrals, in part influenced by convenience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111368
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume170
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Mental health opportunities
  • Referral
  • Suicidality
  • Surgeon awareness

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