Confidential counseling is a critical condition of the healthcare quality in adolescent medicine. This study aimed at assessing knowledge, attitudes and practice of primary healthcare pediatricians and gynecologists regarding adolescents’ rights to confidentiality.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of 152 pediatricians and gynecologists who are employed at 13 primary healthcare centers in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2017–2018. Data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire purposefully constructed for this study. The questionnaire examined knowledge and attitudes toward adolescents’ right to confidentiality as well as whether participating physicians practice confidential health care with adolescents.
Physicians scored 4 out of 7 on a knowledge scale, but they overall supported adolescents’ right to confidential health care (average attitude score was 71 out of 95). On average, physicians scored 21 out of 30 on practice of confidentiality scale. Multivariate analysis showed that better knowledge and stronger positive attitudes toward duty of confidentiality were associated with consistent practice of confidential health care.
Knowledge about adolescents’ rights to confidentiality and attitudes toward keeping adolescents’ information confidential influence the practice of providing confidential services.