To the Editor.—The study by Dr Ford and
colleagues1showed that adolescents are
sensitive to assurances of medical confidentiality, and that their concerns
influence their stated intentions of discussing sensitive issues with their
physicians and of considering return visits for even routine medical care.
Adolescents who received assurances of some sort responded that they would
be more likely both to share sensitive information and to seek medical treatment
in the future than those given no assurance. This is an interesting and satisfying
experimental finding, but physicians should resist the impulse to apply it
directly to practice.
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