National study of parental confidence in general practitioners
AuthorFreed, GL; Spike, N; O'Hara, J; Hiscock, H; Rhodes, AL
Source TitleJOURNAL OF PAEDIATRICS AND CHILD HEALTH
University of Melbourne Author/sSpike, Neil; Hiscock, Harriet; Rhodes, Anthea; Freed, Gary; O'Hara, Jonathan
AffiliationMelbourne Medical School
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsFreed, GL; Spike, N; O'Hara, J; Hiscock, H; Rhodes, AL, National study of parental confidence in general practitioners, JOURNAL OF PAEDIATRICS AND CHILD HEALTH, 2018, 54 (2), pp. 127 - 131
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AIM: To assess a national sample of Australian parental confidence in general practitioner (GP) care for illness and injury for their children. METHODS: Cross-sectional, internet-based survey of a national, representative sample of parents of children birth - 17 years in Australia was used. Purposeful recruitment was used to achieve a national, representative sample of 2100 Australian parents, reflective of demographic and geographic distribution based on census data. Parents were asked to indicate their degree of confidence in a GP to handle medical problems as well as their preference for, and use of, paediatric speciality care for their children. RESULTS: Fewer than half of parents (44%) reported that they were completely confident in a GP to provide general care as defined as 'can handle almost all general health issues for my child'. A slightly greater proportion of parents (56%) were completely confident in a GP to provide care for minor injuries, defined as injuries not requiring an X-ray. Greater confidence in general care was seen among parents >40 years of age and those whose GP is always bulk billed. CONCLUSIONS: Parental confidence in GPs is an important issue. Our findings that fewer than half of parents are completely confident in their GP to provide general care to their child may be an influencing factor on current health-care utilisation trends. The potential implications of low parental confidence in GPs are greater numbers of emergency department presentations for children with lower urgency conditions and increased referrals of children for specialty care.
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