Endocrine Abstracts (2009) 23 P36

What do young people think about seeing the doctor alone in paediatric endocrine clinics?

Helena Gleeson, Elaine O’Shea, Julie Jones, Leena Patel, Catherine Hall, Indi Banerjee, Rakesh Amin & Peter Clayton

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK.

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 haven’t or wouldn’t 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.

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