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The Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form: A tool for health professionals and lenders dealing with customers with self-reported mental health problems

  • Chris Fitch (a1), Robert Chaplin (a1) and Simon Tulloch (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

To develop a standardised clinical information form which helps health professionals provide clear and relevant information about individuals who believe mental disorders affect their ability to repay debt and have consented to creditor organisations or money advisors approaching professionals for evidence. The six-question form was evaluated by three stakeholder groups.

Results

Overall, 35 responses were received from creditors/money advisors, 28 from mental health professionals and 29 from service users/carers. All questions scored acceptable levels of clarity and three questions scored acceptable relevance levels. Qualitative data were used to revise questions on the basis of concerns expressed by stakeholders about sharing diagnostic data, providing prognoses, and the risk of creditor misunderstanding.

Clinical implications

The form is likely to be an acceptable standardised means by which health professionals can elicit information on debt from individuals with mental health problems, for use by creditor organisations or money advisors. The results of a pilot study are awaited.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Chris Fitch (cfitch@rcpsych.ac.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

C.F. and R.C. provided guidance as members of the 2006/7 Money Advice Liaison Group national working party on debt and mental health.

Footnotes
References
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1 Office for National Statistics. The Social and Economic Circumstances of Adults with Mental Disorders. TSO (The Stationery Office), 2002.
2 Department of Trade and Industry. Tackling Over-Indebtedness. Department of Trade and Industry, 2006.
3 Mind. In the Red: Debt and Mental Health. Mind, 2007.
4 Money Advice Liaison Group. Good Practice Guidelines: Debt Management and Debt Collection in Relation to People with Mental Health Problems. MALG, 2007.
5 Edwards, S. In Too Deep: CAB Clients' Experiences of Debt. Citizens Advice Bureau, 2003.
6 Royal College of Psychiatrists. Debt and mental health – resources for health and social care workers. Royal College of Psychiatrsits, 2010 (http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/debt).
7 Harris, M. Psychiatric conditions with relevance to fitness to drive. Adv Psychiatr Treat 2000; 6: 261–9.
8 MacFarlane, AB. Medical evidence in the Court of Protection. Psychiatr Bull 1985; 9: 26–8.
9 Killoughery, M. Disability and incapacity benefits. The role that doctors play. Psychiatr Bull 1999; 23: 260–3.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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The Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form: A tool for health professionals and lenders dealing with customers with self-reported mental health problems

  • Chris Fitch (a1), Robert Chaplin (a1) and Simon Tulloch (a2)
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