Receipt of Private Time Among Adolescents and Young Adults With and Without Special Healthcare Needs



      Private time is an opportunity for the adolescent patient to speak directly to a healthcare provider and a marker of quality preventive health care. Little is known about whether adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with special healthcare needs (SHCNs) are afforded private discussions with their primary care clinicians.


      We surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,209 adolescents (13–18 years) and 709 young adults (19–26 years) about whether they had SHCNs and whether they had ever had private, one-on-one time with their healthcare providers.


      SHCNs were reported by 20.3% of adolescents and 15.6% of young adults. Among adolescents, older age was associated with more SHCNs. Among young adults, women and blacks were more likely to report SHCNs than men and those reporting other race categories. For both AYAs, those with SHCNs more often received private time than those without SHCNs: 54.2% of adolescents and 88.1% of young adults with SHCNs reported ever having received private time, compared with 29.6% of adolescents and 62.1% of young adults without SHCNs.


      Lack of private time continues to impact quality primary care for AYAs; however, AYAs with SHCNs are more likely to have received private time than AYAs who do not have SHCNs. Further research is needed to understand whether increased number of clinical visits, clinician-related factors, or other factors lead to more opportunities for young people with SHCNs to receive private time from their clinicians.


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