Provider Facilitation of Parent-Adolescent Health Communication: Findings From a National Survey

Published:January 07, 2023DOI:


      Primary care providers are well-positioned to facilitate parent-adolescent health communication. We examined provider-facilitated parent-adolescent health communication prevalence and associations with parent-adolescent health communication.


      Using data from a national survey of parent-adolescent dyads (n = 853), we calculated the prevalence of provider-facilitated parent-adolescent health communication about 11 topics as a result of adolescent's last preventive visit. We examined correlates of of provider-facilitatedparent-adolescent communication and associations with with parent-adolescent communication.


      Eighteen percent of adolescents reported that a provider helped them talk with their parent about a health concern, with little variability by adolescent, parent, or provider characteristics. Prevalence of parent-adolescent communication because of an adolescent's last preventive visit ranged between 38.4% and 79.5%. Provider facilitation was positively associated with parent-adolescent communication for all topics.


      Given the low prevalence of provider-facilitated–parent-adolescent health communication and positive associations between provider facilitation and parent-adolescent communication about multiple important health-related topics, efforts to improve this practice could be beneficial.


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      Pooja Brar, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Studies and Community Development, Towson University, Towson, MD.


      Renee E. Sieving, Professor, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, and Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


      Riley J. Steiner, Health Scientist, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.


      Janna R. Gewirtz O'Brien, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


      Michelle Mathiason Moore, Biostatistician, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


      Christopher J. Mehus, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Applied Research & Educational Improvement, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


      Christina Ross, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.


      Jonathan D. Klein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Department of Pediatrics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.


      John Santelli, Professor, Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY.