General practitioner perspectives on referrals to paediatric public specialty clinics Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Changes in the demography of Australia have resulted in changes in patterns of primary care delivery. One of these changes is that the proportion of paediatric visits has decreased.The objectives of the article are to examine patient, practice and personal factors that influence a general practitioner's (GP's) decision to refer patients for paediatric specialty care, and investigate referral goals and experience with shared care.A mail survey was sent out to 400 GPs who had referred at least two children to public hospital specialty clinics during 2014.The response rate for the mail survey was 67%. The factors most commonly reported by GPs as 'Somewhat important' or 'Very important' in the decision to refer were whether they had enough knowledge of a specific condition (81%) or did not have experience with similar patients (75%). About one-quarter (26%) of GPs reported that a parental request 'Frequently' or 'Almost always' influenced their referral decision. A similar pro-portion (26%) placed importance on whether they had sufficient time for a specific patient.Understanding the perspectives and determinants of GP referrals for paediatric specialty care is important, especially in the context of changing patterns of primary care delivery.

authors

publication date

  • 2016