Background The study is an exploration of a joint consultation model, a collaboration between general practitioners (GPs) and specialists from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Lillehammer, Norway. Methods A qualitative study based on two focus group interviews, one with participating GPs and one with participating specialists from the local CAMHS. Participants were five GPs, with work experience varying from 6 months to 20 years (four of them specialists in general medicine) and two CAMHS specialists—a psychiatrist and a psychologist—both with more than 20 years of experience. Results The focus group discussions revealed that both GPs and CAMHS specialists saw the joint consultations as a good teaching method for improving GPs’ skills in child and adolescent psychiatry. Both groups believed that this low-threshold service benefits the patients and that the joint consultation is especially suited to sort problems and determine the level of help required. Conclusions The GPs and CAMHS specialists shared the impression that the collaboration model is beneficial for both patients and health care providers. Close collaboration with primary health care is recommended in the guidelines for child and adolescent psychiatry outpatient clinics. We suggest that the joint consultation model could be a good way for GPs and CAMHS specialists to collaborate.
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