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Table 2 Responses to the questionnaire

From: The prevalence, reasons and attitudes for the practice of informal medicine

Question Number Percent
1. Did you at any time request informal medical consulting from another doctor?
 Yes 135 94.4%
 No 8 5.6%
  143  
2. During the last month, how often did people turn to you for informal medical consulting?
 A number of times a day /Once a day 41 28.9%
 2–3 times a week/Once a week or less 91 64.1%
 Not at all 10 7.0%
  142 (mis = 1)
3. By what means were the requests for informal medical consults directed to you (more than one response can be selected)?
 Face-to-face meeting, planned in advance 121 84.6%
 Incidental meeting such as a social event 99 69.2%
 Phone messages (such as Whatsapp) 103 72.0%
 Electronical mail 114 79.7%
 Other 11 7.7%
  143  
4. To what degree are you in favor of formal medical consulting for family members and friends?
 Strongly in favor/In favor 38 26.6%
 Neutral reaction 41 28.7%
 Not in favor/Strongly opposed 64 44.8%
  143  
5. To what degree are you in favor of informal medical consulting for family members and friends?
 Strongly in favor/In favor 25 17.7%
 Neutral reaction 51 36.2%
 Not in favor/Strongly opposed 65 46.1%
  141 (mis = 2)
6. Do you give informal consulting to family and friends?
 Yes, often 77 53.8%
 Yes, under exceptional circumstances 39 27.3%
 I try to avoid it/Never 27 18.9%
  143  
7. If you answered yes on the previous question, what type of consulting to you provide to family members and friends (more than one response can be selected)?
 Referrals to the emergency room 66 46.5%
 Recommendation to medical specialists 96 67.6%
 Prescriptions for drugs 98 69.0%
 Interpretation of results of medical testing (blood tests, imaging, etc) 115 81.0%
 Routine examinations 31 21.8%
 Treatment in emergency situations 72 50.7%
 Requests for a second opinion 62 43.7%
  142 (mis = 1)
8. How would you describe your feeling after providing such consultation?
 Satisfaction 16 11.3%
 Indifference 34 23.9%
 Discomfort 70 49.3%
 Regret 12 8.5%
 Other 10 7.0%
  142 (mis = 1)
9. What do you think are the main reasons that people turn to you informally rather than to their family physician?
 Savings in treatment costs 3 2.2%
 Accessibility and availability 116 83.5%
 Lack of trust in the public healthcare system 16 11.5%
 Confidentiality 4 2.9%
  139 (mis = 4)
10. Did you ever refuse a request for informal consulting from a family member or a friend?
 Yes, always/Yes, most often 10 7.0%
 Sometimes 65 45.5%
 Usually not/ Never 68 47.6%
  143  
12. Did you every receive compensation (financial or other benefits) for medical treatment or from preferring informal medicine for a family member or friend?
 Yes 22 15.4%
 No 121 84.6%
  143  
13. What do you think is the disadvantage of informal medicine (more than one response can be selected)?
 A lack of medical documentation 121 85.2%
 Lack of the patient’s full consent 30 21.1%
 Lack of objectivity 88 62.0%
 The risk of unprofessionalism or negligence 85 59.9%
 There are no particular disadvantages 5 3.5%
  142 (mis = 1)
14. Have you provided informal medicine by telephone or by text messaging?
 Yes 137 95.8%
 No 6 4.2%
  143  
15. If you answered yes on the last question, what is your opinion regarding such?
 It’s legitimate/It’s not ideal, but adequate in certain situations 72 51.1%
 It’s only suitable for emergency situations 31 22.0%
 It’s problematic and best to avoid 38 27.0%
  141 (mis = 2)
16. No position paper exists at this time of an ethical committee regarding the provision of informal medicine to family members and friends. Do you think such position paper is needed?
 Yes 94 66.2%
 No 48 33.8%
  142 (mis = 1)