Evaluating the Better Access initiative: what do consumers have to say?

Ftanou, Maria, Williamson, Michelle, Machlin, Anna, Warr, Deborah, Christo, Jo, Castan, Lani, Harris, Meredith, Bassilios, Bridget and Pirkis, Jane (2014) Evaluating the Better Access initiative: what do consumers have to say?. Australian Social Work, 67 2: 162-178. doi:10.1080/0312407X.2014.902978

Author Ftanou, Maria
Williamson, Michelle
Machlin, Anna
Warr, Deborah
Christo, Jo
Castan, Lani
Harris, Meredith
Bassilios, Bridget
Pirkis, Jane
Title Evaluating the Better Access initiative: what do consumers have to say?
Journal name Australian Social Work   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1447-0748
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/0312407X.2014.902978
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 67
Issue 2
Start page 162
End page 178
Total pages 17
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC Australia
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule initiative (Better Access) aims to improve outcomes for people with common mental disorders by encouraging a multidisciplinary approach to their mental health care. The current paper presents consumers' views on Better Access. A total of 936 consumers completed a structured survey or took part in an interview about their experiences with Better Access. Participants appreciated the fact that Better Access made psychological care affordable. They accessed services because they had clear mental health symptoms, often exacerbated by stressful life events. Most were impressed by the quality of care available through Better Access, and found that the number of available sessions was sufficient to meet their needs. Most importantly, the vast majority experienced significant reductions in symptoms and improvements in coping abilities, and they attributed these changes to the care they received through Better Access. Consumers are the most important stakeholders in any debate about mental health care delivery. However, until now they have not been well-represented in discussions about Better Access. Our study gave them the opportunity to air their views, and their first-hand impressions of the initiative were generally very positive. © 2014
Keyword Better Access
Mental Health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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