Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

GP Referrals to Paediatric Specialist Outpatient Clinics: Referral Goals and Parental Influence

Marina Kunin , Erin Turbitt , Sarah Gafforini , Lena Sanci , Neil Spike , Gary Freed


Introduction Previous research on GP referrals in adult populations demonstrated that patient pressure influenced referral practice. No research has been conducted to investigate how involvement of a parent influences paediatric referrals. Aim The aim of this study was to investigate whether GPs who report parental influence in their decision to refer paediatric patients differ in their referral patterns from GPs who do not report parental influence. Method Mail survey of 400 GPs who had referred at least two children to paediatric specialist outpatient clinics during 2014. Results The response rate was 67% (N=254). For initial referrals, 27% of GPs stated that parental request frequently or almost always influenced their referral decision. For returning referrals, 63% of GPs experienced parental influence to renew a referral because a paediatrician wanted a child to return; 49% of GPs experienced influence to renew a referral because a parent wanted to continue care with a paediatrician. Experiencing parental influence was associated with increased likelihood for frequent referrals in order for a paediatrician to take over management of a child’s condition. Discussion GPs who frequently refer with a goal for a paediatrician to take over management of a child’s condition also report that almost always parental request influences their decision to refer.

HC17030  Accepted 05 December 2017

© CSIRO 2017