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Am J Prev Med. 1997 Jul-Aug;13(4):324-30.

Primary care physicians' perceptions of adolescent pregnancy and STD prevention practices in a Nova Scotia county.

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  • 1Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.



This study was carried out to determine the predisposing, enabling, and reinforcing factors related to practice behaviors in the prevention of adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and to assess physicians' "ideal" history taking and service provision versus their actual practice in this clinical area.


Twenty-six of 37 physicians in a single county in Nova Scotia took part in a face-to-face interview.


Analysis of predisposing factors found that, for seven of 10 areas related to knowledge of the epidemiology of adolescent pregnancy and STDs, fewer than 50% of male physicians were able to give correct responses. All physicians believed this to be an important area for prevention, and 89% that prevention is possible, but only 62% believed that their own prevention efforts are effective. Respondents were about equally likely to view schools and physicians as having responsibility for prevention of adolescent pregnancy and STDs. Significant enabling factors included high levels of perceived personal comfort and skill, but time factors and opportunities to interact with adolescents sufficiently frequently to carry out prevention were seen as barriers. Most physicians (68%) agreed that the physician fee schedule was a negative reinforcing factor. Male physicians and those in rural practice were significantly more likely to have larger gaps between those preventive practices they saw as desirable and those they actually performed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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