Parents want info about circumcision, not directives from health-care providers

July 21, 2014

Most parents expect healthcare providers to answer their questions about circumcision, but they don't want a specific recommendation on the procedure, according to a new University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

More than half of born in the United States are circumcised, but the rates of circumcision continue to decline.

"Both pro- and anti-circumcision advocates feel strongly about their views, which can create anxiety for new or expectant who are trying to find objective information on which to base a . In this situation, healthcare providers can be an important source of help," says Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H. , associate director of the National Poll on Children's Health and associate research scientist in the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics.

"But our poll shows that parents don't want or expect a directive from their healthcare provider, but want them in a consultant role, providing information so they can make up their own minds."

Over 40% of parents in this poll said the provider should not recommend a specific decision about circumcision, and 75% said that once a decision is made, providers should accept it without argument. So for providers, this sets up a different sort of relationship with patients, Clark says, in which the patient is looking to them as sounding board rather than a decision maker.

The video will load shortly

Parents do expect providers to give information about circumcision. In the poll, 87% would like to get information before the baby is born, and 81% feel their baby's would be the best source. However, few parents meet with the pediatrician during the prenatal period.

"This is a missed opportunity for parents to hear from a trusted source at a critical time in their decision-making about circumcision. Many parents don't know that they can schedule a prenatal visit with their child's pediatrician to talk over issues just like these," says Clark, who is also a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. Parents ranked healthcare providers as the best source of information, well ahead of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, or parenting books. Only 5 percent of parents rated internet searches as a trustworthy source of information about circumcision and only 9 percent felt that they could tell the difference between true and false information on the internet.

"Welcoming a new baby is an exciting but also an anxious time. According to this , healthcare providers can best help their patients by being an unbiased source of information about rather than pushing a particular decision," Clark says.

Explore further: Cover the bases: Sports physicals are no substitute for comprehensive checkups

More information: Full report: C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health: mottnpch.org/reports-surveys/c … -not-directives-docs

Related Stories

Cover the bases: Sports physicals are no substitute for comprehensive checkups

June 16, 2014
Nearly half of parents say any qualified health care provider – not just a child's usual provider – can do a sports physical, according to a new University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's ...

Parents want e-mail consults with doctors, but don't want to pay for them

October 21, 2013
Most parents would love to get an e-mail response from their kids' health care provider for a minor illness rather than making an office visit, but about half say that online consultation should be free, according to a new ...

Parents unclear about process for specialist care for kids

January 28, 2014
Parents vary widely in views about their responsibilities in getting specialty care for their children, according to a new University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

Screening out: What are parents doing to limit screen time for young children?

April 29, 2014
About 25 percent of parents who have children aged two to five say their children get three or more hours of entertainment screen time a day, well beyond recommended limits, according to a new poll from the University of ...

Parents of overweight kids more likely to give schools failing grades for fighting obesity

May 20, 2014
Parents – especially those of overweight children – give schools a failing grade for efforts to encourage healthy habits that combat childhood obesity, according to a new poll from the University of Michigan.

Medical research needs kids, but two-thirds of parents unaware of opportunities

November 26, 2013
To improve healthcare for children, medical research that involves kids is a must. Yet, only five percent of parents say their children have ever participated in any type of medical research, according to a new University ...

Recommended for you

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TLCTugger
not rated yet Jul 22, 2014
Circumcision is NOT a medical issue when there is no diagnosis of defect or disease. There is nothing to discuss.

Doctors have a duty to the PATIENT. Informed adults can decide for themselves about their own bodies.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.