Adolescents' Discussion of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Topics With Providers: Findings From a Nationally Representative Probability Sample of U.S. Adolescents

Devon J. Hensel, Debby Herbenick, Jonathon J. Beckmeyer, Tsung chieh Fu, Brian Dodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: National practice guidelines encourage providers address sexual and reproductive health (SRH) as part of all clinical encounters with adolescents. Yet, no studies provide nationally representative estimates of how frequently adolescents are screened. Methods: Data were adolescent participants (aged 14–17 years; N = 826) in the 2018 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, an online, nationally representative study of sexual health experiences of people in the U.S. SRH variables were: (all no/yes) pregnancy prevention, sexual identity, STD/HIV prevention, sexual difficulties, sexually transmitted infections testing, and sexual activity. We used descriptive statistics and weighted logistic regression (Stata 16.0; all p < .05) to examine differences in the odds of SRH discussion with provider by sexual identity, age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Results: The coverage of SRH topics was poor. The most common topic was asking about sexual activity (52.9%), and the least common was being offered a sexually transmitted infection test (21.7%). An adolescent's sexual identity, race/ethnicity, and age affected the odds of topic screening. Conclusions: Health care providers appear to both infrequently and inconsistently address key SRH topics during encounters with young people. Targeted interventions should focus on strengthening the regularity and depth of clinicians’ SRH conversations regardless of adolescent demographic or history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Health care
  • Sexual and reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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