Healthcare providers are missing opportunities to talk about sexual health with young people


Routine preventive visits by teens offer important opportunities to promote sexual and reproductive health and to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

A new study published in Pediatrics—Leaders from the University of Minnesota — found that most teens and theirs considered important discussions about providers of care about puberty, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and birth control. However, less than a third of these young people reported debates on these issues, apart from puberty, on their most recent preventive visit.

“Our findings suggest clear differences between parents and perceived the importance of discussing sexual and reproductive health issues and adolescents’ experiences during preventive visits, “said Renee Sieving, a professor in the School of Nursing and lead author of the study.” Although most parents and many young people surveyed noted the importance of service providers. discussing these issues does not occur routinely during preventive visits. “

Based on data from a nationally representative survey of 11- to 17-year-old American teens and their parents, the main findings of the study were that during recent preventive visits:

  • 14% of younger adolescents (11 to 14 years old) and 38.7% of adolescents (15-17 years) reported that suppliers asked about theirs ;
  • of the possible sexual and reproductive health issues, provider-adolescent discussions about puberty were the most frequent;
  • less than a third of adolescents reported that a provider discussed any other sexual and reproductive health issues; i
  • conversations about confidentiality and time alone between providers and teens were uncommon, with 20% of younger teens and 44% of older teens reporting time alone with their provider in their most recent review.

The researchers noted that their work indicates that primary care providers often miss opportunities for critical conversations about sexual and reproductive health, especially with younger teens.

“These findings dispel possible concerns that parents may oppose providers having these discussions: both parents and adolescents want discussions to begin on various sexual and reproductive health issues in early adolescence,” he said. dir Sieve. “Debates on sexual and reproductive health and other sensitive issues are likely to occur as part of confidential conversations between teens and their providers, a rare practice among teens in this study.”

More efforts are needed to identify strategies that improve providers ’capacities to engage adolescents in these discussions. It will also be important for research and interventions to address structural barriers and facilitators of provider-adolescent conversations about sexual and sexual issues. within primary care settings.

Adolescents and parents find the provider’s sexual health discussions important

More information:
Pediatrics (2021). DOI: 10.1542 / peds.2020-049411

Citation: Healthcare Providers Missing Opportunities to Talk About Sexual Health with Young People (2021, July 20) Retrieved July 20, 2021 at -young-people.html

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