Attitudes and practices of Israeli physicians toward adolescent health care: a national survey

J Adolesc Health. 1999 Jul;25(1):35-9. doi: 10.1016/s1054-139x(98)00132-3.


Purpose: To assess practices and attitudes of Israeli physicians with regard to adolescent health.

Methods: Questionnaires were sent to a sample of 1050 Israeli physicians specializing in pediatrics (P) family practice (FP), and internal medicine (IM). They were requested to report their experience, perceived skills, and desire for further training regarding 16 adolescent health items grouped under four topics: medical, sexuality, risk behavior, and psychosocial problems. A scoring system was applied to assess their report. Attitudes toward confidentiality in the same topics were also surveyed.

Results: Questionnaires were received from 306 (29%) physicians, of whom 42% were P, 35% were FP, and 29% were IM. The majority (96%) of respondents included adolescents in their practice, and adolescents comprised 33%, 17%, and 11% of the registered patient population of the P, FP, and IM, respectively. The mean scores for practice, perceived skills, and desire for further training were generally low. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences among the three physicians groups in all surveyed topics, resulting from the low scores of the IM group. A diversity regarding confidentiality was noted, in that younger FP were most willing to keep health issues confidential.

Conclusions: Physicians in Israel have limited experience and perceive themselves to be underskilled in dealing with adolescent health issues. Training programs in adolescent health need to be developed to meet the needs of physicians in Israel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent Health Services / trends
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Confidentiality
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires