Centre for Adolescent Health

Young people consulting in General Practice understanding their perspective

  • Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.

    Aim

    To study how young people's understanding of psychological symptoms can influence the ability of general practitioners (GPs) to identify emotional distress in these patients.

    Description

    Most young people visit a GP at least once a year. Thus GPs are in an ideal position to address youth health problems and mental health disorders in particular, a major burden of disease in this age group. Yet often youth emotional distress remains unrecognised in the GP consultation. To inform new interventions to improve identification of youth psychological distress in primary care we need a better understanding of how patient factors influence the encounter. Therefore we have designed this study of young people's perspective on their symptoms when consulting doctors in general practice. Its major aim is to analyse how young people's understanding of psychological symptoms can influence the ability of general practitioners (GPs) to identify emotional distress.

    This cross-sectional study will take place in a random sample of 24 general practices. We will use brief questionnaires to interview 480 young people aged 16 to 24 as they wait for their consultation. These questionnaires explore young people's understanding of the cause and the course of their symptoms, level of emotional distress, health related quality of life, information on pathways to care and satisfaction with the consultation. The treating GP will also be given a short questionnaire on the content of the consultation.

    Data collection will begin in July 2004, and first results should be available by mid-2005.

    Publications

    none to date

    Contact

    Dagmar Haller-Hester
    dagmar.haller@mcri.edu.au