Send to

Choose Destination
Fam Pract. 2010 Oct;27(5):556-62. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmq036. Epub 2010 Jun 13.

Adolescents consulting a GP accompanied by a third party: comparative analysis of representations and how they evolve through consultation.

Author information

ADOC Group (Adolescents and Risk-prone Behaviours), Association Relais17, 17430 Lussant, France.



Adolescents are frequently accompanied by a third party in consultation. Their stated reason for consulting is rarely psychological. However, many adolescents experience distress or impaired well-being that practitioners fail to detect.


To study the ability of adolescents to express personal concerns in general medicine consultations depending on if an accompanier is present and to explore perceptions of participants and how they evolved.


Six hundred and seventy-four adolescent consultations with 53 GPs were studied. The adolescents and any persons accompanying completed self-administered questionnaires before and after the consultation, the GPs only afterwards. Analyses compared responses before and after consultation and between participants.


Six per cent of the adolescents were consulting for a psychological reason, but, among the others, 17% reported having personal concerns they would like to talk about. Among adolescents aged 14-17 years, those consulting alone more frequently reported personal worries but were more satisfied with the consultation than the others. A third party's presence did not appear to hinder expression for those that consulted accompanied. The representations of the third party and practitioner concerning the adolescent differed, although they tended to converge following the consultation: accompaniers overestimated the adolescents' well-being and freedom to talk, while GPs underestimated their well-being, readiness to confide and feelings of being understood.


GPs could be more optimistic about adolescent consultations: their role is viewed more positively than they think, especially by adolescents consulting alone. The majority of adolescents wishing to say something do so, even when an accompanier is present.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center