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Prescribing benzodiazepines in general practice: a new view of an old problem


Rogers, Anne; Pilgrim, David; Brennan, Susie; Sulaiman, Ilyas; Watson, Gareth; Chew-Graham, Carolyn


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Abstract General practitioner (GP) prescribing has been identified as an arena that has broad social and political implications, which stretch beyond individual outcomes for patients. This article revisits aspects of the controversy about prescribing benzodiazepines (or 'minor tranquillizers') through an exploration of contemporary views of GPs. In the 1980s the prescribing of these drugs was considered to be both a clinical and social problem, which brought medical decision making under public scrutiny. The legacy of this controversy for recent GPs remains a relatively under-explored topic. This article describes a qualitative study of GPs practising in the north-west of England about their views of prescribing benzodiazepines. The accounts of the respondents highlight a number of points about: blame allocation, past and present; clinical challenges about risk management; and deserving and undeserving patients. These GP views are then discussed in the wider context of psychotropic drug use. It is concluded that, while there has been a recent consensus that the benzodiazepines have been problematic, when they are placed in a longer historical context, a different picture is apparent because other psychotropic drugs have raised similar problems.
Klassifikation Medizinsoziologie; Medizin, Sozialmedizin
Freie Schlagwörter benzodiazepines; GPs' perspectives; narratives; psychotropic medication
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2007
Seitenangabe S. 181-198
Zeitschriftentitel Health, 11 (2007) 2
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459307074693
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)