A survey of pediatric nephrologists on adolescent sexual health

Pediatr Nephrol. 2001 Jan;16(1):57-60. doi: 10.1007/s004670000466.


Chronic renal disease often has an adverse effect on adolescent physiologic and psychosocial development. The severity of the disease may necessitate that the pediatric nephrologist be the adolescent's main medical provider and the most available physician to screen for adolescent health risk behaviors. The purpose of this study was to determine pediatric nephrologists' practices of sexual history taking and diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections in their adolescent patients. A survey was performed on a convenience sample of 66 pediatric nephrologists attending an educational seminar on adolescent care at the 1997 national meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology. The outcome measures included physicians' reports of interviewing adolescents alone and screening for sexually transmitted infections. Fifty-six percent reported interviewing adolescents alone, 55% routinely ask female adolescents about sexual intercourse (53% ask males) and 10% routinely perform pelvic exams. Current practice in this selected sample of pediatric nephrologists, who by their attendance at the seminar may represent those most motivated to do screening, still leaves adolescents with chronic renal disease potentially at risk for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Educational efforts should be directed at increasing routine confidential sexual history taking for adolescents with chronic renal disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services*
  • Condoms
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Nephrology*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy