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GPs’ experiences of children with anxiety disorders in primary care: a qualitative study

O'Brien, D., Harvey, K., Young, B., Reardon, T. and Creswell, C. (2017) GPs’ experiences of children with anxiety disorders in primary care: a qualitative study. British Journal of General Practice, 67 (665). e888-e898. ISSN 1478-5242

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3399/bjgp17X693473

Abstract/Summary

Background: Anxiety disorders have a median age of onset of 11 years and are the most common emotional disorders in childhood, however a significant proportion of those affected do not access professional support. In the UK, General Practitioners (GPs) are often the first medical professional that families see so are in a prime position to support children with anxiety disorders; however, currently there is little research available on GPs’ perspectives and experiences of supporting children with these disorders. Aim: To explore the experiences of GPs in relation to identification, management, and access to specialist services for children (< 12 years) with anxiety disorders Design and Setting: 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs in Primary Care throughout England, reflecting a diverse group in relation to the ethnic and socio-economic profile of registered patients, GP age, gender, professional status, previous engagement with research, and practice size and location. Method: Purposive sampling was used to recruit GPs until theoretical saturation was reached. Data was analysed using a constant comparative method of Thematic Analysis. Results: Data was organised into three themes; decision making, responsibility and emotional response, with an over-arching theme of GPs feeling ill-equipped. These themes were retrospectively analysed to illustrate their role at different stages in the primary care process (identification, management, and access to specialist services). Conclusion: GPs feel ill-equipped to manage and support childhood anxiety disorders, demonstrating a need for medical training to include greater emphasis on children’s mental health, as well as potential for greater collaboration between primary and specialist services

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:71071
Publisher:Royal College of General Practitioners

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