Half of young patients don't get private time with physicians, study finds

Only about half of adolescents and young adults in the U.S. get private time with their physicians, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

For the study, researchers surveyed a nationally representative group of 1,918 individuals ages 13-26 on their healthcare experiences.

Fifty-five percent of females and 49 percent of males reported ever having private time with their regular physician. In addition, 55 percent of females and 44 percent of males reported speaking to their physicians about confidentiality.

Patients who did have private time with physicians were more likely to be older, have a higher household income and be the same gender as their provider, among other factors. These patients also demonstrated more positive attitudes about their physicians and were more willing to discuss sensitive topics.

"Although confidentiality and private time are important to [adolescents and young adults], many are not experiencing these components of care," researchers concluded. "Providing private time and discussions of confidentiality can improve the delivery of healthcare for young people by enhancing positive youth attitudes about preventive care."

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