Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1257–1269 | Cite as

Reducing Adolescents’ Perceived Barriers to Treatment and Increasing Help-seeking Intentions: Effects of Classroom Presentations by General Practitioners

  • Coralie Joy Wilson
  • Frank P. Deane
  • Kellie L. Marshall
  • Andrew Dalley
Empirical Research


The Building Bridges to General Practice (BBGP) program is an outreach initiative. It aims to reduce young peoples’ perceived knowledge- and belief-based barriers to engaging in treatment and to increase their behavioral intentions to consult a general medical practitioner (GP) for physical and psychological problems. By increasing intentions, the BBGP program aims to increase actual consultations with a GP for both types of problem. A quasi-experimental nested design was used to evaluate the effect of the intervention in three Australian high schools. A Treatment group (n = 173, M = 16 years) and Comparison group (n = 118, M = 15 years) completed questionnaires of perceived barriers, intentions and self-reported consultations with a GP. Questionnaires were completed 1 week before the intervention, 5 then 10 weeks post-intervention. The Treatment group, but not the Comparison group, showed reductions in perceived barriers over time, increased intentions to consult a GP for psychological problems and a significant correlation between intentions and subsequent GP consultations. Results support the utility of the intervention for improving adolescents’ beliefs, intentions and behavior related to consulting a GP for physical and psychological problems.


Help seeking Health promotion Quasi-experimental evaluation Barriers 



The authors wish to thank the following people for their substantial contribution to implementation of the BBGP program evaluated in the current trial: Beth Bignell, Janette Ellis, Helen Clancy; Dianne Young, Kathy Russell; Fiona Kyle; the Board of the Illawarra Division of General Practice, Members of the Illawarra Division of General Practice who presented the BBGP lessons; the School Counsellors and welfare staff who provided follow-up student support and the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing who provided infrastructure funds for ongoing program development. Additional thanks must also go to Beth Bignell and Janette Ellis for their invaluable research assistance throughout the project particularly in the data collection and data entry phases.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Coralie Joy Wilson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frank P. Deane
    • 1
  • Kellie L. Marshall
    • 3
  • Andrew Dalley
    • 3
  1. 1.Illawarra Institute for Mental HealthUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Graduate School of MedicineUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Illawarra Division of General PracticeWollongongAustralia

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