Provider Use of Time Alone With Adolescents: Differences by Health Concern



      To examine associations between reports of sensitive health behaviors and the provision of time alone by a clinician during adolescent well visits.


      Data were collected from 547 adolescents who completed a well visit at one of eight clinics. Adjusted mixed logistic regression was used to examine whether reports of sexual behavior, substance use, disordered eating, mental health concerns, and demographic characteristics were associated with time alone.


      Sexual behavior was found to be significantly associated with time alone, while substance use, disordered eating, a positive depression screen, and suicidal ideation were not. Older adolescents and males were more likely to report time alone, while race/ethnicity had no association with time alone.


      Clinicians may be prioritizing time alone for behavioral concerns differently than for other sensitive behaviors.


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      Linked Article

      • Opportunities to Improve Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Through Medical Education and Delivery of Quality Preventive Care
        Journal of Adolescent HealthVol. 71Issue 4
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          In this issue of the journal, Al-Shimari et al. report on clinicians' time alone with adolescent patients during routine healthcare visits in 10 primary care clinics in Washington State [1]. Their secondary analysis of adolescent well visits from two randomized controlled trials of electronic health risk behavior screening feedback found a wide variation in whether young people had private, one-on-one time with their clinicians during visits. The percent of adolescents who reported having had time alone during their visit varied from 51.6% to 97.8% across their study sites.
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