Appleton, R, Loew, J and Mughal, F (2022) Young people who have fallen through the mental health transition gap: a qualitative study on primary care support. British Journal of General Practice. BJGP.2021.0678 - BJGP.2021.0678. ISSN 0960-1643

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Background Owing to poor continuity of care between child and adult mental health services, young people are often discharged to their GP when they reach the upper boundary of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). This handover is poorly managed, and GPs can struggle to support young people without input from specialist services. Little is known about young people's experiences of accessing mental health support from their GP after leaving CAMHS. Aim To explore the experiences and perspectives of young people and the parents/carers of young people receiving primary care support after CAMHS and to identify barriers and facilitators to accessing primary care. Design and setting Qualitative study with young people and parents in two English counties: London and West Midlands. Method Narrative interviews were conducted with 14 young people and 13 parents who had experienced poor continuity of care after reaching CAMHS transition boundary. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results Three themes were identified: unmet mental health needs, disjointed care, and taking responsibility for the young person's mental health care. Barriers included the perception that GPs couldn't prescribe certain medication, anxiety caused by the general practice environment, and having to move to a new practice at university. Young people's positive experiences were more likely to include having a long-term relationship with their GP and finding that their GP made time to understand their needs and experiences. Conclusion GPs could help to meet the unmet needs of young people unable to access specialist mental health services after leaving CAMHS. There is a need for comprehensive handover of care from CAMHS to GPs, which could include a joint meeting with the young person and a member of the CAMHS team. Future research should focus on interventions which improve continuity of care for young people after leaving CAMHS, and collaborative working across community mental health services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is Open Access: CC BY 4.0 licence
Uncontrolled Keywords: transition, young people, mental health, qualitative research: general practice, primary care
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 May 2022 09:46
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 15:05

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