p-ISSN: 1300-0551
e-ISSN: 2587-1498

Sabriye Ercan, Ayhan Canbulut, Hüseyin Tolga Acar, Esma Arslan, Cem Çetin

Sports Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey

Keywords: Defensive medicine, sports medicine, malpractice, forensic medicine


Objective: This study has been designed to examine the level of knowledge and attitudes of sports medicine physicians on defensive medicine practices.

Materials and Methods: Physicians working as sports medicine specialists in public institutions and residents receiving specialization education in sports medicine at various universities in Turkey were included in this study. The descriptive information form prepared by the researchers and the Defensive Medicine Behaviour Scale were applied to the participants.

Results: One hundred fifteen sports medicine physicians (male: n=90, 78.3%; female: n=25, 21.7%) participated in the study. While 33% (n=38) of the participants were residents in sport medicine specialty programs, 42.6% (n=49) of the participants were specialists, 7.8% (n=9) had title of assistant professor, 2.6% (n=3) associate professor and 13.9% (n=16) professor of sports medicine. Physicians over 39 years of age (p = 0.0001) and physicians with 14 or more years of professional experience in sports medicine (p = 0.03) were significantly different among sports medicine physicians in terms of working in sports clubs and the private sector. While 49.6% (n=57) of the sports medicine physicians declared that they regularly took out the compulsory financial liability insurance for medical malpractice every year, 20.9% (n=24) of the sports medicine physicians had never done it up to date. Those who stated that they had heard of the concept of defensive medicine practices were younger (36±8.9 versus 41±11.2, p=0.02) and their professional experience was shorter (11.7±8.9 versus 16.9±11, p=0.01). Sports medicine physicians had a moderate attitude towards defensive medical practices. The participants" level of knowledge about defensive medicine practices, their academic level and gender brought up a significant difference in the replies of questionnaire (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Despite working in a relatively low-risk specialization in terms of malpractice cases, sports medicine physicians perform defensive medicine practices at a moderate level in their clinical practice. Furthermore, sports medicine physicians' knowledge about defensive medicine practices is insufficient.

Cite this article as: Ercan S, Canbulut A, Acar HT, Arslan E, Çetin C. Attitudes of sports medicine physicians about defensive medicine practices. Turk J Sports Med. 2021;56(1).38-43.; http://dx.doi.org/10.47447/tjsm.0478

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to authorship and/or publication of the article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or publication of this article.