Home > Attitudes of general practitioners to child psychiatry services.

McNicholas, F (1997) Attitudes of general practitioners to child psychiatry services. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 14, (2), pp. 43-46.

Objective: To ascertain the views of Irish GPs with regard to local child psychiatry provision.

Method: 180 randomly selected general practitioners were sent a questionnaire designed to ascertain their views on child psychiatry services. They were asked to fate service provisions, professional staff and therapies offered in terms of priority.

Results: 74 (41%) returned completed questionnaires. Written reports, short waiting list times and emergency inpatient provisions were accorded the highest priority by the largest number of GPs (77%, 64.9%, and 63.5% respectively). Expertise in child sexual abuse, mental handicap and alcohol/drug addiction were also prioritised (77%, 66.2%, & 58.1% respectively). The core staffing required included child psychiatrists, community psychiatry nurses, psychologists and social workers. Family therapy followed by counselling were the most popular treatment modalities. However, more than two thirds (68.6%) of the sample rated their current service as unsatisfactory.

Conclusion: In planning service provision it is important to take into account the needs of the community, referrers' views and accessibility in order to provide optimum services for both users and referrers.

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