What do young people think about seeing the doctor alone in paediatric endocrine clinics?
Helena Gleeson, Elaine OShea, Julie Jones, Leena Patel, Catherine Hall, Indi Banerjee, Rakesh Amin & Peter Clayton
Background: Seeing the doctor alone has been associated with a better outcome following transition to adult services.
Methods: A simple questionnaire was designed for young people (YP) to enquire about being seen alone in paediatric endocrine clinics.
Results: The questionnaire was administered to 72 YP young people (37 male) with long term endocrine conditions. The mean age was 15.5 (2.5). 10% of YP thought they should be offered the opportunity to be seen on their own at any age, 7% from the age of 11, 19% from the age of 14, 25% from the age of 17, 22% thought it depended on maturity not age and 14% were unsure. Of those that stated an age 40% of all the YP were the age that they felt they should be offered an opportunity to be seen on their own. 32% of YP were either totally or very confident to be seen alone, 21% were fairly confident and 24% were a little confident and 21% were not confident at all. However only 21% of YP reported ever having seen the clinic doctor alone and only 19% reported the doctor ever having suggested it. The most popular reasons stated by YP for wanting to be seen alone were I get the opportunity to talk about things in private/confidence in 35% of YP and I get the opportunity to help the doctor make decisions that are right for me in 31% of YP. The most popular reasons stated by YP that they currently havent or wouldnt be seen alone were I like having my parents there for company/support in 58% of YP and My parents like to hear what the doctor says in 54% of YP.
Conclusion: At least 40% of YP feel that they are an appropriate age to be offered the opportunity to be seen alone in clinic with >50% feeling at least fairly confident to do so. However this questionnaire demonstrated that YP are not being given this opportunity.