• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. Nov 1997; 47(424): 715–718.
PMCID: PMC1409956

Teenagers' views on the general practice consultation and provision of contraception. The Adolescent Working Group.


BACKGROUND: The rate of unwanted pregnancies in adolescents in the United Kingdom (UK) is one of the highest in Europe and is a major reason for the RCGP's concern at the under-use of general practitioners' (GPs') contraceptive services by young people. AIM: To discover the attitudes of 15- to 16-year-olds to the GP consultation and contraceptive services. METHOD: Questionnaires were completed as part of an evaluation of a novel sex education programme in 30 schools in 1994, and provided the data for this study. A total of 4481 teenagers (51.6% male and 48.4% female completed the questionnaires in their classrooms under conditions of complete confidentiality. RESULTS: The median consulting rate per year was two for males and three for females. Over 60% of adolescents attended the consultation with a parent. Of the males, 27.5% 'felt that the discussion with their GP could be relayed to their parents against their wishes', as did 25.1% of the females. Other difficulties with GP appointments were identified as embarrassment (63% of females and 46% of males), difficulty getting a quick appointment (44% of both males and females), and an unsympathetic GP (32% of females and 20.5% of males). CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents identify significant factors blocking them from easy access to consultation with their GP. These included lack of trust in confidentiality, lack of staff friendliness, and delay in appointment. Consideration of how these blocks can be removed will assist in providing improved contraceptive services in primary care. General practices need to consider the above factors when providing contraceptive and other services to their teenage patients.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Jacobson LD, Wilkinson CE. Review of teenage health: time for a new direction. Br J Gen Pract. 1994 Sep;44(386):420–424. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Macfarlane A, McPherson A. Primary health care and adolescence. BMJ. 1995 Sep 30;311(7009):825–826. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mellanby AR, Phelps FA, Crichton NJ, Tripp JH. School sex education: an experimental programme with educational and medical benefit. BMJ. 1995 Aug 12;311(7002):414–417. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jacobson LD, Wilkinson C, Pill R. Teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom in the 1990s: the implications for primary care. Fam Pract. 1995 Jun;12(2):232–236. [PubMed]
  • Epstein R, Rice P, Wallace P. Teenagers' health concerns: implications for primary health care professionals. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1989 Jun;39(323):247–249. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jacobson LD, Owen PA. Study of teenage care in one general practice. Br J Gen Pract. 1993 Aug;43(373):349–349. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tripp JH, Mellanby AR, Phelps FA, Curtis HA, Crichton NJ. A method for determining rates of sexual activity in schoolchildren. AIDS Care. 1994;6(4):453–457. [PubMed]
  • Jacobson LD, Wilkinson C, Owen PA. Is the potential of teenage consultations being missed?: a study of consultation times in primary care. Fam Pract. 1994 Sep;11(3):296–299. [PubMed]
  • Bewley BR, Higgs RH, Jones A. Adolescent patients in an Inner London general practice: their attitudes to illness and health care. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1984 Oct;34(267):543–546. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Macfarlane A, McPherson A, McPherson K, Ahmed L. Teenagers and their health. Arch Dis Child. 1987 Nov;62(11):1125–1129. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...