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Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 184, Issue 4, pp 831–843 | Cite as

Youth mental health in deprived urban areas: a Delphi study on the role of the GP in early intervention

  • E. Schaffalitzky
  • D. Leahy
  • W. Cullen
  • B. Gavin
  • L. Latham
  • R. O’Connor
  • B. P. Smyth
  • E. O’Dea
  • S. Ryan
Original Article

Abstract

Background

GPs, as healthcare professionals with whom young people commonly interact, have a central role in early intervention for mental health problems. However, successfully fulfilling this role is a challenge, and this is especially in deprived urban areas.

Aims

To inform a complex intervention to support GPs in this important role, we aim to identify the key areas in which general practice can help address youth mental health and strategies to enhance implementation.

Methods

We conducted a modified Delphi study which involved establishing an expert panel involving key stakeholders/service providers at two deprived urban areas. The group reviewed emerging literature on the topic at a series of meetings and consensus was facilitated by iterative surveys.

Results

We identified 20 individual roles in which GPs could help address youth mental health, across five domains: (1) prevention, health promotion and access, (2) assessment and identification, (3) treatment strategies, (4) interaction with other agencies/referral, and (5) ongoing support. With regard to strategies to enhance implementation, we identified a further 19 interventions, across five domains: (1) training, (2) consultation improvements, (3) service-level changes, (4) collaboration, and (5) healthcare-system changes.

Conclusions

GPs have a key role in addressing youth mental health and this study highlights the key domains of this role and the key components of a complex intervention to support this role.

Keywords

General practice Primary care Youth mental health Substance addiction Early Intervention Delphi study 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the members of the expert panel (Dr. Declan Aherne, Dr. Anna Beug, Pat Brosnan, Dr. Ann Campbell, Dr. Damien Hanley, Dr. Shay Keating, Ms. Catherine Kelly, Prof David Meagher, Mr. Jimmy Norman, Dr. Gillian O’Brien, and Dr. Mike Power), project steering group and the Health Research Board of Ireland who funded this study.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Schaffalitzky
    • 1
  • D. Leahy
    • 1
  • W. Cullen
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Gavin
    • 3
  • L. Latham
    • 4
  • R. O’Connor
    • 1
    • 5
  • B. P. Smyth
    • 6
  • E. O’Dea
    • 7
  • S. Ryan
    • 8
  1. 1.Graduate Entry Medical SchoolUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  2. 2.UCD School of MedicineDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Lucena ClinicDublin 6Ireland
  4. 4.Thomas Court Primary Care CentreDublin 8Ireland
  5. 5.HSE Midwest Specialist GP Training ProgrammeLimerickIreland
  6. 6.Youth Drug and Alcohol project (YoDA) Service, Health Services ExecutiveDublinIreland
  7. 7.HSE Dublin Mid-LeinsterDublinIreland
  8. 8.HSE Midwest Addiction ServicesDublinIreland

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