How do young people feel about confidentiality with their healthcare provider?

While most believe what is discussed behind closed doors should stay there, young people do have other concerns, according to a recent article in the Journal of Pediatrics, Confidentiality in the Doctor-Patient Relationship: Perspectives of Youth Ages 14-24 Years.

With 1,268 young people nationwide between the ages of 14 and 24 surveyed through a MyVoice text message poll, it was noted most young people have not discussed confidentiality with their provider.

Among the findings:

  • Young people worry that what they say in their visits will lead to future discrimination.
  • When it comes to risk behaviors, some young people may not be truthful or simply will not seek healthcare because they are concerned with confidentiality.

A key takeaway from this is the need for healthcare providers to not only discuss confidentiality, but to build trust with young patients to provide a basis for communicating openly.

This was co-authored by Noah A. Zucker, MD (University of Michigan Medical School); Christine Schmitt, BS (Georgetown University); Melissa J. DeJonckheere, PhD, Lauren P. Nichols, MPD and Melissa A. Plegue, MA (Department of Family Medicine, U-M Medical School); and Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, MS (Department of Family Medicine, U-M and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, U-M).

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