The project asked, what helps people with severe mental illness to establish and maintain a positive relationship with their GP in order to prevent, detect and manage long-term physical conditions? It used an asset-based framework (strengths of the person, community and agencies), underpinned by Relational Coordination Theory to explore what people value in their relationship with their GP.

Good coordination can be considered to occur when there are:

  1. Good relationships between people and general practice and between mental health services and GPs (the consumer is supported in their health literacy and has mutual trust with their health providers; and the provider has a shared knowledge of the needs of PWSMI and other services who may be involved in their care)
  2. Good communication between people and providers and between GPs and mental health services (on the consumer side due to addressing cognitive and health literacy support needs; and on the provider side due to the timely and accurate exchange of clinical information and communication).

The project focused on people’s experiences and perspectives of what has helped or enabled them to establish and maintain a positive relationship with a GP. The findings will be used to explore how to work with GPs, consumers and mental health service facilitators through consultation in the next stage of the research project.

Research Centre

Social Policy Research Centre

Research Area


UNSW Disability Innovation Institute

Catherine Spooner (Lead CI, Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity), Mark Harris, Ben Harris-Roxas, Patrick Bolton, Jane Taggart

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