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Inform Prim Care. 2012;20(1):69-74.

Parents' knowledge of and opinions about healthcare laws and technology in primary care.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Health Policy and Outcomes, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA.



Historically, parents have demonstrated poor understanding of adolescent healthcare laws. This study assessed US parents' current knowledge and opinions about technology facilitated physician-adolescent communication and applicable laws to enhance transition to adult health care.


A brief survey in two low-income academic paediatric clinics asked parents about their knowledge of health care and laws, and their opinions about technology facilitated contact between physicians and adolescents.


Almost all parents (96.7%) have internet access at home, work or via a mobile device. Only 44.1% approved of having a physician directly contact their child about annual examinations, immunisations or to discuss issues of sexuality. Half (55.4%) were aware that adolescents could receive confidential sexuality information and treatment without parents' permission. Only one-third (32.2%) approved of a specific technology for direct communication.


Parents are divided about direct physician-adolescent contact. Future plans to engage adolescents to understand their health will require parental education and involvement on the value of physician-adolescent communication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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