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Lithuanian general practitioners' knowledge of confidentiality laws in adolescent sexual and reproductive healthcare: a cross-sectional study.

Lazarus, Jeffrey LU ; Jaruseviciene, Lina and Liljestrand, Jerker LU (2008) In Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 36(3). p.303-309
Abstract
BACKGROUND: In Lithuania, the legislation addressing confidentiality in adolescent healthcare is contradictory and vague. Previous studies have also revealed that medico-legal knowledge among physicians is poor, and attitudes play a correspondingly greater role than legal knowledge in ensuring the confidentiality of patients. OBJECTIVE: To survey the knowledge of Lithuanian general practitioner (GPs) of legal issues surrounding confidentiality for minors in sexual and reproductive healthcare. METHODS: A 41-item questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 607 GPs. Their legal knowledge was evaluated with respect to the provisions of the Lithuanian Law on the Rights of Patients and Compensation for Health Damage. The analysis included... (More)
BACKGROUND: In Lithuania, the legislation addressing confidentiality in adolescent healthcare is contradictory and vague. Previous studies have also revealed that medico-legal knowledge among physicians is poor, and attitudes play a correspondingly greater role than legal knowledge in ensuring the confidentiality of patients. OBJECTIVE: To survey the knowledge of Lithuanian general practitioner (GPs) of legal issues surrounding confidentiality for minors in sexual and reproductive healthcare. METHODS: A 41-item questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 607 GPs. Their legal knowledge was evaluated with respect to the provisions of the Lithuanian Law on the Rights of Patients and Compensation for Health Damage. The analysis included descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression to estimate odds ratios for the eight independent variables (age, gender, type, location, ownership, size, frequency of consultations, and existence of a written office policy). RESULTS: The response rate was 73.5%. Of these respondents, 49.3% proved to be knowledgeable about legal standards protecting the confidentiality of adolescents in healthcare. Knowledgeability was found to be higher among GPs who had a written office policy that was based on the law. Respondents stated that the most important measure to improve confidentiality in adolescent healthcare would be the development of an explicit legal framework to address it. CONCLUSIONS: GPs' unfamiliarity with existing confidentiality regulations implies that there are ways to improve confidentiality in sexual and reproductive care beyond merely changing the law. This study suggests the need for a comprehensive strategy, including the development of professional guidelines and written office policies coupled with legal educational programmes directed at GPs. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Family Practice: legislation & jurisprudence, Family Planning Services: legislation & jurisprudence, Adolescent Health Services: legislation & jurisprudence, Confidentiality: legislation & jurisprudence, Physicians, Family: education, Family: psychology
in
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
volume
36
issue
3
pages
303 - 309
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • WOS:000256236600013
  • PMID:18519301
  • Scopus:42649135868
ISSN
1651-1905
DOI
10.1177/1403494808086984
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a1f1c6bf-1078-4735-bcef-23c2d05c6f93 (old id 1169303)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18519301?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2008-07-03 09:37:03
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:29:59
@misc{a1f1c6bf-1078-4735-bcef-23c2d05c6f93,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: In Lithuania, the legislation addressing confidentiality in adolescent healthcare is contradictory and vague. Previous studies have also revealed that medico-legal knowledge among physicians is poor, and attitudes play a correspondingly greater role than legal knowledge in ensuring the confidentiality of patients. OBJECTIVE: To survey the knowledge of Lithuanian general practitioner (GPs) of legal issues surrounding confidentiality for minors in sexual and reproductive healthcare. METHODS: A 41-item questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 607 GPs. Their legal knowledge was evaluated with respect to the provisions of the Lithuanian Law on the Rights of Patients and Compensation for Health Damage. The analysis included descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression to estimate odds ratios for the eight independent variables (age, gender, type, location, ownership, size, frequency of consultations, and existence of a written office policy). RESULTS: The response rate was 73.5%. Of these respondents, 49.3% proved to be knowledgeable about legal standards protecting the confidentiality of adolescents in healthcare. Knowledgeability was found to be higher among GPs who had a written office policy that was based on the law. Respondents stated that the most important measure to improve confidentiality in adolescent healthcare would be the development of an explicit legal framework to address it. CONCLUSIONS: GPs' unfamiliarity with existing confidentiality regulations implies that there are ways to improve confidentiality in sexual and reproductive care beyond merely changing the law. This study suggests the need for a comprehensive strategy, including the development of professional guidelines and written office policies coupled with legal educational programmes directed at GPs.},
  author       = {Lazarus, Jeffrey and Jaruseviciene, Lina and Liljestrand, Jerker},
  issn         = {1651-1905},
  keyword      = {Family Practice: legislation & jurisprudence,Family Planning Services: legislation & jurisprudence,Adolescent Health Services: legislation & jurisprudence,Confidentiality: legislation & jurisprudence,Physicians,Family: education,Family: psychology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {303--309},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb44b1c8)},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Public Health},
  title        = {Lithuanian general practitioners' knowledge of confidentiality laws in adolescent sexual and reproductive healthcare: a cross-sectional study.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1403494808086984},
  volume       = {36},
  year         = {2008},
}