Background and objective: This study is a qualitative analysis examining caregivers' expectations for pediatricians with regard to behavioral health care.
Methods: Fifty-five parents/caregivers of children seen in an urban primary care clinic participated in semistructured interviews. Participants were parents or guardians of children between the ages of 2 and 17 years, referred from the pediatric clinic to the mental health center. Interviews were analyzed using grounded theory methods.
Results: Pertinent themes were the following: expected range of care, components of an effective primary care provider (PCP) relationship, action of the PCP, and parent reaction to PCP intervention. Forty-seven percent of caregivers saw the PCP role as strictly for physical health care; 53% expected the PCP to have a role in both physical and behavioral health. Responses were overwhelmingly positive from caregivers when the PCP asked about or conducted a behavioral health intervention.
Conclusion: Caregivers did not consistently expect but responded positively to PCPs engaging around behavioral health concerns.
Keywords: behavioral medicine; community mental health services; pediatrics.
© The Author(s) 2015.