Pediatricians' role and practices regarding provision of guidance about sexual risk reduction to parents

J Prim Prev. 2008 May;29(3):279-91. doi: 10.1007/s10935-008-0137-9.


A randomly selected nationally representative sample of 508 practicing pediatricians was surveyed in order to identify factors associated with physician delivery of primary prevention to parents about sexual risk reduction (SRR). A full 86% (n = 435) reported that provision of SRR guidance is equally or more important than other guidance provided to parents. Among the 435, only 121 (28%) provided SRR guidance to >75% of parents of their adolescent patients. Multivariate analyses revealed barriers of: lack of training, lack of request from parents, and awkwardness. To promote parent-child communication, physicians suggested high-quality brochures for parents (84%); a list of resources (74%); and tools to facilitate parent-child discussions (63%). Pediatricians and parents are important components of sexual risk prevention efforts for adolescents. Editors' Strategic Implications: The findings related to the perceived importance-but infrequent delivery-of SRR communication between pediatricians and parents of adolescents have implications for training and information dissemination in pediatric practices, as well as other health and reproductive health settings.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Communication Barriers
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / education*
  • Pediatrics / education
  • Physician's Role*
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control*
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires