Are teens missing out on health talks with their doctors?

December 2, 2008

Physicians may not be discussing various high-risk health topics with teenage patients, according to a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Physicians may not be discussing various high-risk health topics with teenage patients, according to a study forthcoming in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

SH Adams et al surveyed 2,192 adolescents ages 12 to 17 who had received a physical exam within the last six months. Results showed that violence was the least-discussed topic between doctor and patient (brought up 15% of the time). More than 80% of teens did not discuss safety issues, such as seatbelts and helmets, and at least 70% did not discuss substance abuse. However, 76% of teens discussed nutrition and exercise with their physicians.

Although a six-month lag time in the study design may have introduced fading memory as a factor in the study, one of the survey responses did account for this variable.

The study will be accessible online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.