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Table 2 Similarities and differences between consumer and carer themes

From: Living with personality disorder and seeking mental health treatment: patients and family members reflect on their experiences

Theme subject Consumer themes Carer themes Similarities Differences
Assessment, diagnosis, and intervention. The need to improve the assessment and diagnosis process. The importance of carer involvement in early assessment and intervention. • Consumers and carers described the importance of providing information to consumers when a diagnosis is given. • Consumers described the potential helpfulness of receiving appropriate treatment options and referral information at diagnosis.
• Carers described the importance of carer involvement in assessment, diagnosis, and intervention.
• Carers described the importance of early assessment and intervention.
Mental health professional’s understanding of personality disorder,
communication between professionals, and continuity of care.
The need to improve communication between mental health professionals to ensure continuity of care.
Challenges and successes finding a mental health professional who understands personality disorder.
Increasing mental health professionals’ understanding of personality disorders and improving communication. • Consumers and carers described the importance of professionals communicating with one another to better understand the consumer and provide continuity of care.
• Consumers and carers suggested improving training for mental health professionals to increase understanding of personality disorder.
• Consumers and carers described receiving stigmatizing responses from mental health professionals.
• Consumers described the value of finding a mental health professional that they can connect with.
• Consumers described the benefit of having a long term relationship with a mental health professional.
• Consumers described the importance of other professionals listening to their private psychologist’s advice.
Services and responses for consumers experiencing a crisis. Increasing feelings of safety when consumers are experiencing a crisis. Improving responses and follow-up when consumers present in crisis. • Consumers and carers described receiving compassionate treatment and some inappropriate treatment from first responders.
• Consumers and carers described how the emergency department was often not a safe environment for consumers.
• Consumers described the potential benefit of providing alternative safe places that they could access when feeling distressed.
• Carers described how consumers and carers are not provided sufficient information or support following presentation to acute care services.
Expanded treatment options, and service accessibility. Providing expanded treatment options and increasing service accessibility. Improving accessibility and quality of services for consumers.
Improving support for carers.
• Consumers and carers described insufficient availability and quality of services for consumers.
• Consumers and carers described how offering peer support to consumers may be beneficial.
• Consumers described the potential benefit of providing options such as creative or animal-assisted therapy.
• Carers described difficult experiences supporting a consumer with personality disorder and suggested increased support for carers.