Acceso abierto

The careful assessment tool for managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms – The experience of Slovenian family medicine trainees: A qualitative study



Primary care physicians use various tools and methods to identify medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). The main purpose of our study is to determine the views of Slovenian family medicine trainees (FMT) about using the “Careful Assessment” tool for managing patients with MUS.


A qualitative study using open survey questions focused on the experience of family medicine trainees in managing patients with MUS. The sample consisted of surveys from 184 family medicine trainees. These trainees analysed a total of 702 patients with MUS. Manual coding was used for quantitative content analysis.


In the coding process, 49 codes were developed that included broader research fields about using the “Careful Assessment” tool for managing patients with MUS. The codes were grouped into four theoretically grounded, logical categories in accordance with the elaborated theoretical concept: multi-purpose utility; improved patient management; in-depth knowledge and new skills; and patient response.


The study demonstrated that, in the view of Slovenian FMT, the “Careful Assessment” tool has multi-purpose utility. The study showed that FMT felt that this tool helps them in systematic patient management. Their opinion is that it helps them establish a trusting relationship with patients, which is a precondition for providing further treatment.

Calendario de la edición:
4 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine