General practitioners (GPs) are uniquely placed to help adolescents take control of managing their chronic illness, and provide continuity of care during the transition to adulthood. This is dependent on a well-established therapeutic relationship with a young person and their family.
The aim of this article is to address the preferences of young people with a chronic illness in dealing with doctors. It also covers ways in which GPs might frame chronic illness management to young patients and their families to optimise care.
Young people want their doctors to be honest, trustworthy and friendly. Plain language explanations of confidentiality, the pa-tient’s illness, management and transition are likely to foster a good therapeutic relationship. Attention should be paid to the difficult balance between managing an illness and enjoying life.