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Confidentiality in sports medicine

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journal contribution
posted on 03.11.2015, 15:11 by Dominic MalcolmDominic Malcolm
This article synthesizes existing literature to provide a comprehensive summary of the ethical issues related to patient confidentiality in sport. It consists of four parts. The first outlines the medical ethical principle of confidentiality and identifies cross-cultural ethico-legal variations which shape its implementation. The second explores four factors specific to the context of sport which shape the application of patient confidentiality, namely: clinicians multiple obligations, physical environment and practice and policy context. The third reviews research detailing real life experiences of maintaining patient confidentiality in sport, and the fourth summarizes the many policy recommendations that have been made for enabling and enhancing compliance with this ethical principle. It is argued that the context of sport exacerbates pressures on clinicians to break patient confidentiality, breaches therefore occur relatively regularly, and interventions are required to enhance ethical compliance in sports medicine.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Clinics in Sports Medicine


MALCOLM, D., 2016. Confidentiality in sports medicine. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 35(2), pp.205-215.


© Elsevier


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Clinics in Sports Medicine and the definitive published version is available at