Background / Aims: It is debated whether patients should have access to their physical and mental health records. In 2015, the Division of Medicine at CMDHB initiated a policy to routinely send patients a copy of their health psychology reports. The aim of this study was to explore patients’ and psychologists’ perspectives on patient access to their health psychology reports. Methods: A consecutive sampling method was used to select patients to participate in the study. Twelve patients who had received and read copies of their health psychology reports completed a brief semi-structured telephone interview. Four Health Psychologists completed an online survey. Results: Thematic analysis was used to identify themes from the data. Patients’ feedback was summarised into five main themes: (1) agreement with the content of the report; (2) perceived personal benefit; (3) benefit for the patient-doctor relationship; (4) variability in confidentiality and privacy preferences; and (5) perceived value of psychologists. Psychologists’ feedback reflected both strengths and weaknesses of sending patients a copy of their reports. The themes identified were: (1) perceived benefits for patients; (2) a transparent mode of sharing information; and (3) confidentiality concerns, which affected the content included and time spent on the reports. Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that it is valuable to continue promoting patient access to their health psychology reports. Confidentiality and privacy concerns exist among both patients and clinicians. Addressing these concerns could enhance outcomes.
Vanessa Garcia Hoyos
Counties Manukau Health