Teen use of a patient portal: a qualitative study of parent and teen attitudes

Perspect Health Inf Manag. 2008;5:13. Epub 2008 Sep 16.


We conducted a qualitative study of the attitudes of teens and parents toward the use of a patient portal. We conducted two teen and two parent focus groups, one teen electronic bulletin board, and one parent electronic bulletin board. Videotapes and transcripts from the groups were independently analyzed by two reviewers for significant themes, which were then validated by two other members of the research team. Twenty-eight teens and 23 parents participated in the groups. Significant themes included issues about teens' control of their own healthcare; enthusiasm about the use of a patient portal to access their providers, seek health information, and make appointments; and concerns about confidentiality. In summary, there was considerable support among teens and parents for a patient portal as well as concerns about confidentiality. The teen portal affords an opportunity to negotiate issues of confidentiality.

Keywords: access to care; confidentiality of teen health services; patient portal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent / physiology*
  • Attitude*
  • California
  • Communication*
  • Focus Groups
  • Group Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patients*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*