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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2007 Jun;20(3):173-8.

Communication with our teens: associations between confidential service and parent-teen communication.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. slerand@mcw.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Many recent attempts have been made to eliminate health services minors can receive without parental consent or notification. One argument is that these "confidential" services undermine the parent-teen relationship. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether confidential services impact adolescent's communication with parents about their health.

METHODS:

This cross-sectional study included 59 adolescents (ages 12-21) seeking health services at an urban teen clinic in Minneapolis, MN. Participants were divided based on reasons for presenting at the clinic; confidential or non-confidential services. The main outcome variables were the following: discussion of clinic visit with parent, discussion of reason for clinic visit with parent, and communication with parent if diagnosed with a potentially serious health condition.

RESULTS:

The two groups were equally divided; 42.4% came for non-confidential services and 57.6% came for confidential services. Of the 59 participants, 69.5% told their parents they were coming to clinic. However, only 43.1% reported they would not tell their parent if they had a serious health problem; there was an equal split between the confidential services and non-confidential services groups. A statistical difference was not found between the confidential services and non-confidential services groups for any of the outcome variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

Obtaining confidential services was not a barrier to discussion with parents about clinic visit, reasons for coming to clinic, or telling their parent if they had a serious health care problem. Clinicians should continue to advocate for confidential services while encouraging open communication between adolescents and their parents.

PMID:
17561185
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpag.2007.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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