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Development and evaluation of an educational intervention in youth mental health for primary care practitioners

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2014

J. Birrane
Affiliation:
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
D. Swan
Affiliation:
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
D. Aherne
Affiliation:
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
R. Davis
Affiliation:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Limerick, Ireland
A. Hannigan
Affiliation:
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
D. McPhillips
Affiliation:
Community Substance Misuse Team, Limerick, Ireland
D. Meagher
Affiliation:
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
A. O’Regan
Affiliation:
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
P. Ryan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
E. Schaffalitzky
Affiliation:
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
W. Cullen
Affiliation:
UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objectives

Irish adolescents have one of the highest rates of suicide and self-harm in the European Union. Although primary care has been identified as an opportune environment in which to detect and treat mental health problems in adolescents, lack of training among primary care professionals (PCPs) is a barrier to optimum identification and treatment. We describe the development and evaluation of an educational intervention on youth mental health and substance misuse for PCPs.

Methods

Thirty general practitioners and other PCPs working in the Mid-West region participated in an educational session on youth-friendly consultations, and identification and treatment of mental ill-health and substance use. Learning objectives were addressed through a presentation, video demonstration, small group discussions, role play, question-and-answer sessions with clinical experts, and an information pack. Following the session, participants completed an evaluation form assessing knowledge gain and usefulness of different components of the session.

Results

A total of 71% of participants were involved in the provision of care to young people and 55% had no previous training in youth mental health or substance abuse. Participants rated knowledge gains as highest with regard to understanding the importance of early intervention, and primary care, in youth mental health. The components rated as most useful were case studies/small group discussion, the ‘question-and-answer session’ with clinical experts, and peer interaction.

Conclusions

The educational session outlined in this pilot was feasible and acceptable and may represent an effective way to train professionals to help tackle the current crisis in youth mental health.

Type
Original Research
Copyright
© College of Psychiatrists of Ireland 2014 

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