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J Korean Med Sci. 2003 Feb;18(1):73-9.

Parental concerns on the circumcision for elementary school boys: a questionnaire study.

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Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Busan National University, 1-10 Ami-dong, Seo-gu, Busan 602-739, Korea.


To evaluate the parental concerns for elementary school boys (7-12 yr) on the circumcision, a randomly selected cross-sectional survey was performed in each elementary school from 16 urban wards in Busan. We asked 10,861 parents to answer the questionnaires on the circumcision such as the benefits and fallbacks of circumcision, proper time and knowledge of the surgery, and neonatal circumcision. The overall response rate to the questionnaire was 38.9%. The overall circumcision rate of elementary school boys was 43.2%, which increased from 18.7% at 7 yr old to 64.8% at 12 yr old. The significant reason for and against circumcision was "hygiene benefits (88.1%)" and "unreliable medical benefits (38.5%)", respectively. 74.9% of parents thought that elementary school age is the optimal time of circumcision. Only 11.2% of boys were circumcised during neonatal period. The main reason for parents to oppose neonatal circumcision was "their babies feel pain (35.8%)". About 50% of parents thought that circumcision will prevent medical diseases. Besides the medical basis, the circumcision is emerging as a kind of social custom in Busan. For parents making the decisions on the circumcision of their boys, physician or health care providers should provide helpful and honest facts about circumcision.

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