Children's Perspectives on Visits to the General Practitioners' Office

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Dalley, Jessica
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University of Guelph

The purpose of the current study was to understand children's positive and negative perspectives of visits to the general practitioner (GP), and their preferred level of participation during these visits. One hundred sixty-seven children (female n = 82, male n = 85; ages 7-10, Mage = 8.07, SD = .82) were recruited from four local schools. Data were collected through 15-20 minute individual interviews. Children reported they were fearful of needle procedures, pain and the unknown. Children indicated they like receiving rewards, interactions with doctors, and improving their health. Two-thirds of participants did not want increased choice or preparatory information. Children's fear ratings for experiences during GP visits were positively associated with their preference for more participation. This study demonstrated children are capable of communicating their perspectives of GP visits. The current results can inform the development of interventions to promote positive experiences and reduce procedural distress during GP visits.

pediatric pain, medical fears, information provision, children's healthcare, patient-centred care