Primary Care Mental Health Services (PMHCS) aim to provide accessible and effective psychological interventions. However, there is a scarcity of qualitative research focused on patients’ experiences. Service users’ experience can inform development of accessible, high-quality mental health services. Nine semi-structured interviews were analysed from Primary Care Mental Health users in Northern Scotland using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four superordinate themes were generated: Orientating to treatment, Intervention features, Change enablers, and Impact. The results identified both facilitators and barriers associated with access and psychological change; and narratives around CBT acceptability, outcomes and remote delivery. The role of GPs emerged as a key determinant of access to PMHCS. The therapeutic relationship contributed to person-centred care provision, idiosyncratic change processes and self-empowerment. A personal commitment to engage with homework was described as a crucial change enabler. Findings are discussed in relation to existing literature, practical implications and suggestions for future research.


© 2023 Finazzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Finazzi, E., MacLeod, E. & MacBeth, A. 2023, 'Exploring service users experiences of remotely delivered CBT interventions in primary care during COVID-19: An Interpretative phenomenological analysis', PLoS ONE, 18(1), article no: e0279263. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0279263

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Last updated: 26 January 2023
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