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Title: Attitudes of family doctors, attached to the Department of Family Medicine, towards consulting and treating young people
Authors: Mallia, Pierre
Ellul, Bridget
Abela, Jurgen C.
Keywords: Family medicine -- Malta
Physicians -- Attitudes
Family medicine -- Youth
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Malta Medical Journal
Citation: Malta Medical Journal. 2012, Vol.24(3), p. 34-38
Abstract: Background: There is a perceived concern that there is no law which governs the right of young people (YP), defined as ages 15-18, to be treated by doctors and to have their privacy protected from their parents or legal guardians. On the other hand doctors seem not to be covered by a specific law which allows them to see and treat this age group, although the Medical Council has expressed itself once in this regard. Method: This study aimed to assess the perception of doctors to seeing young adults alone since they are considered vulnerable because of their age and may not express concerns and practices if in front of parents or guardians. In this regard a questionnaire was delivered to family doctors attached with the department of family medicine at the University of Malta. Results: the response rate was 72.5%. Most respondents were males. Most (89.6%) agreed that YP have a right toe speak to the family doctor alone. Doctors are happy to discuss various topics with YP alone, but in certain issues, find difficulty in providing treatment to YP alone. There seems to be a significant difference in attitude towards the sex of the doctor with respect to the sex of the patient. Conclusion: The study was meant to be a pilot study including those doctors attached to the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical School, with a future study planned on a larger number. The significance and importance of the results however merited previous publication of this study as a sentinel. Doctors are largely concerned about the law and are sometimes reluctant to see young adults alone even if they feel that they should be able to do so. The importance of having a clarification of the law by an amendment is discussed.
Appears in Collections:MMJ, Volume 24, Issue 3
MMJ, Volume 24, Issue 3
Scholarly Works - FacM&SFM
Scholarly Works - FacM&SMed
Scholarly Works - FacM&SPat

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