Concern for privacy in relation to age during physical examination of children: an exploratory study
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AbstractObjectives: To explore whether physicians behave differently regarding ethics and respect for privacydepending on children’s age. We explored whether physician behaviours contributed to childuneasiness.Study design: Observational study of 21 children (0–12 years; 18 boys; mean age 3.2) undergoingevaluation for inguinal hernia. Specific physician-initiated verbal and nonverbal behaviours werecoded from digital video discs of the consultations.Results: Physician intrusiveness (i.e. approaching the child suddenly or in an uninvited way) duringthe physical examination was related to concurrent child uneasiness (r ¼ 0.42, p < 0.06) and lastedthrough the postexamination phase of the consultation (r ¼ 0.52, p < 0.01). Child mood during theexamination strongly predicted postexamination mood (r ¼ 0.69, p < 0.0001). Neither the totalnumber of physician-initiated positive behaviours or privacy-related behaviours was associated withchild age. Negative physician behaviours were strongly related to negative mood in the child(r ¼ 0.72, p < 0.0001) at the close of the consultation.
Hansson, Mats G and Kihlbom, Ulrik and Tuvemo, Torsten and Rodriguez, Alina (2009) Concern for privacy in relation to age during physical examination of children: an exploratory study. Acta Paediatrica, 98 (8). pp. 1349-1354. ISSN 0803-5253