The representation of the relationship between users and healthcare system: Cultural models of general practitioners

Renzo Carli, Rosa Maria Paniccia, Fiammetta Giovagnoli, Andrea Caputo, Enzo Finore, Elena Russo


The present research study explores the emotional and symbolic representation of the Italian healthcare system and specifically of general medical services reported by a group of Italian general practitioners.
General medicine is recently affected by a structural change which could be sustained also by a cultural revolution, however this revolution seems to be oriented to expected values without a clear methodology which promotes and accompanies this cultural change. The present study deals with the lack of practices due to these unrealized expected values and assumes that for intervening it is necessary knowing the existing culture before thinking to change it. Interviews to 36 general practitioners were analyzed by Emotional Text Analysis (AET). Results highlight a factorial space characterized by five clusters. According to respondents’ perspective, healthcare problems refer to two large issues characterized by powerlessness of general practitioners to intervene. On the one hand, there is health emergency, dealt with by first aid and emergency medicine. On the other hand, there is chronicity, especially affecting the elderly, which is dealt with by other workers (nurses, private family assistants, social workers) who care patients at home and replace physicians. The general practitioners’ work is difficult because of many different reasons; but the central theme is the lack of absolute power – based on morality and consciousness – which leads to the perception of catastrophic consequences for medical profession and the physician-patient relationship. Often, general practitioners are in their offices and are not able to go to patients’ home, therefore they cannot create care relationships based on trust and dependence which allow useful and trustworthy interventions. In sum, the core theme emerging from data refers to the general practitioners’ perceived lack of personal and trust-based relationships with patients.


medico di medicina generale; rapporto medico paziente; cultura sanitaria; dinamica collusiva; modelli culturali

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 2016 Rivista di Psicologia Clinica

Documento senza titolo



Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363