Perspectives on Monitoring Youth with Ongoing Mental Health Problems in Primary Health Care: Family Physicians Are “Out of the Loop”

  • Kyleigh E. Schraeder
  • Judith Belle Brown
  • Graham J. Reid


Children’s mental health (CMH) problems often recur. Following specialized mental health treatment, youth may require monitoring and follow-up. For these youth, primary health care is highly relevant, as family physicians (FPs) are the only professionals who follow patients across the lifespan. The current study gained multiple perspectives about (1) the role of FPs in caring for youth with ongoing/recurring CMH problems and (2) incorporating routine mental health monitoring into primary health care. A total of 33 interviews were conducted, including 10 youth (aged 12–15) receiving CMH care, 10 parents, 10 CMH providers, and 3 FPs. Using grounded theory methodology, a theme of FPs being “out of the loop” or not involved in their patient’s CMH care emerged. Families perceived a focus on the medical model by their FPs and believed FPs lacked mental health expertise. Findings indicate a need for improved collaboration between CMH providers and FPs in caring for youth with ongoing CMH problems.



We would like to thank all of the families and providers that participated in this study for their time and willingness to take part in this research.

Funding Information

This project was supported by a grant from the Lawson Health Research Institute. K.E. Schraeder was supported by a Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research–Primary Health Care (TUTOR-PHC) fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and by the Children’s Health and Research Institute. G.J Reid was supported by the Children’s Health Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study was approved by the Research Ethics Board at both CMH agencies and at The University of Western Ontario.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11414_2017_9577_MOESM1_ESM.docx (144 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 143 kb)


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyleigh E. Schraeder
    • 1
  • Judith Belle Brown
    • 2
    • 3
  • Graham J. Reid
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Family Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and DentistryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.School of Social WorkKing’s University CollegeLondonCanada
  4. 4.Department of PaediatricsThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  5. 5.Children’s Health Research InstituteLondonCanada
  6. 6.Lawson Health Research InstituteLondonCanada

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