Objective: To understand parental opinions about which topics should be discussed during adolescent preventive health visits and how best to incorporate adolescent confidentiality into these visits.
Study design: Cross-sectional, web-based survey of a national sample of 1025 parents of adolescents.
Results: Response rate was 71%. From a list of 18 possible topics, the 3 most frequently selected as being "very important for the doctor to discuss during adolescent well child examinations" were "diet/nutrition" (75%), "exercise/sports" (67%), and "physical changes of puberty" (60%). There was variability in topic popularity by parents' race/ethnicity and gender and by adolescents' age, health status, and gender. Most parents (66%) believed it was "very/somewhat" important for adolescents to have private time with the doctor during these visits, yet a substantial proportion of parents (46%) preferred that the doctor disclose to them the confidential information obtained during these private encounters.
Conclusions: Parents find numerous topics important for discussion during well adolescent health care visits suggesting that parents might value a broad range of preventive care services for adolescents. However, some parents appear conflicted about incorporating adolescent confidentiality into prevention-focused visits.