Parental report of receipt of adolescent preventive health counseling services from pediatric providers

Patient Educ Couns. 2014 Feb;94(2):269-75. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2013.10.003. Epub 2013 Oct 14.


Objective: Little is known about prevention-focused counseling health providers deliver to parents of adolescents. This study compared parental report of discussions with their adolescents' providers about a range of adolescent prevention topics.

Methods: Between June and November 2009, a questionnaire was provided to parents accompanying adolescents aged 11-18 on outpatient clinic visits. Parents indicated, anonymously, which of 22 prevention topics they remembered discussing with their adolescent's provider. Hierarchical logistic regression models were used to identify correlates of parental recall.

Results: Among the 358 participants, 83% reported discussing at least one prevention topic. More parents reported discussing general prevention topics than mental health or high-risk topics (e.g. sex). Adolescent gender, visit type, having a usual source of care, and parental beliefs about their adolescents' risk behaviors correlated with parental report of discussions about high-risk and mental health topics.

Conclusion: Most parents recalled discussing one or more topics with their adolescent's health provider. However, parental report of discussions about topics linked to significant adolescent morbidity was low.

Practice implications: Strategies to improve the frequency, timeliness and appropriateness of counseling services delivered to parents about adolescent preventive health are needed. Strategies that utilize decision support tools or patient education tools may be warranted.

Keywords: Adolescent; Communication; Counseling; Health services; Primary prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Parents*
  • Pediatrics
  • Physicians*
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult