Reducing adolescents' perceived barriers to treatment and increasing help-seeking intentions: Effects of classroom presentations by General Practitioners
The "Building Bridges to General Practice" (BBGP) program is an outreach initiative. It aims to reduce young peoples' perceived knowledge- and belief-based barriers to engaging in treatment and to increase their behavioral intentions to consult a general medical practitioner (GP) for physical and psychological problems. By increasing intentions, the BBGP program aims to increase actual consultations with a GP for both types of problem. A quasi-experimental nested design was used to evaluate the effect of the intervention in three Australian high schools. A Treatment group (n = 173, M = 16 years) and Comparison group (n = 118, M = 15 years) completed questionnaires of perceived barriers, intentions and self-reported consultations with a GP. Questionnaires were completed 1 week before the intervention, 5 then 10 weeks post-intervention. The Treatment group, but not the Comparison group, showed reductions in perceived barriers over time, increased intentions to consult a GP for psychological problems and a significant correlation between intentions and subsequent GP consultations. Results support the utility of the intervention for improving adolescents' beliefs, intentions and behavior related to consulting a GP for physical and psychological problems.