Magali Coppens got first prize for her Gut Feelings Thesis

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The French Collège National des Généralsites Enseignants (CNGE) with GPs involved in academic educational or research programmes, is putting up an annual prize for the best thesis, the Prix National de Thèse du CNGE. This year Magali Coppens, a young GP, won this price with her thesis entiteld Le 6ème sens en médecine générale: Validation d’un consensus néerlandais.

Magali Coppens et al. studied wich consensus on gut feelings in general practice in France could be obtained, using the results of the Dutch focus group research into gut feelings, and repeating the same research methods. Magali Coppens conducted a qualitative research design including a Delphi consensus procedure with a heterogeneous sample of 34 French GPs involved in university educational or research programmes. After three Delphi rounds, the researchers found 70% or greater agreement on every of the ten proposed statements. A “sense of alarm” means that the GP gets the feeling something is wrong with the patient and he therefore needs to initiate specific management to prevent health problems. A “sense of reassurance” is defined as coherence between the patient’s complaints and the doctor’s clinical observations. Though the GP lacks objective facts, he feels confident, yet with caution, about the management of the patient’s situation.

Magal Coppens et al. conluded that many similarities could be found between the Dutch and the French defining statements, with a reservation on the “sense of reassurance”, which French GPs seem to feel more cautious about. The  “sense of alarm” and the “sense of reassurance” are well-defined concepts also in France, with many similarities between the Dutch and the French statements. This seems to indicate that gut feelings is a self contained concept.

The complete thesis can be found via Sharepoint, shared documents.