Experiences of general practice care for self-harm: a qualitative study of young people’s perspectives.

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Self-harm is a growing concern and rates of self-harm in young people presenting to general practice are rising. There is however an absence of evidence on young people’s experiences of GP care and on accessing general practice.To explore the help-seeking behaviours, experiences of GP care, and access to general practice for young people who self-harm.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with young people aged 16-25 from England with previous self-harm behaviour.Interviews with 13 young people occurred between April and November 2019. Young people were recruited from the community, third-sector organisation, and Twitter. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis with principles of constant comparison. A patient and public involvement advisory group informed recruitment strategies and supported interpretation of findings.Young people described avenues of help-seeking they employ and reflected on mixed experiences of seeing GPs which can influence future help-seeking. Preconceptions and a lack of knowledge on accessing general practice were found to be barriers to help-seeking. GPs who attempted to understand the young person and establishing relationship-based care can facilitate young people accessing general practice care for self-harm.It is therefore important young people are aware how to access general practice care and that GPs listen, understand, and proactively follow-up young people who self-harm. Supporting young people with self-harm behaviour requires continuity of care.

View the full article @ The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners
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Authors: Faraz Mughal, Lisa Dikomitis, Opeyemi Babatunde, Carolyn A Chew-Graham