“I just think that doctors need to ask more questions”: Sexual minority and majority adolescents’ experiences talking about sexuality with healthcare providers

Lindsay Fuzzell, Heather N. Fedesco, Stewart C. Alexander, J. Fortenberry, Cleveland G. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To examine adolescent and young adults’ experiences of sexuality communication with physicians, and gain advice for improving interactions. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with questions focusing on: puberty, romantic attractions, sexual orientation, dating, sexual behavior, clinical environment, and role of parents. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis with both open and axial coding. Results Five themes emerged from interviews: 1) need for increased quantity of sexual communication, 2) issues of confidentiality/privacy, 3) comfort (physician discomfort, physical space), 4) inclusivity (language use, gender-fluid patients, office environment), 5) need for increased quality of sexual communication. Conclusions Sexual minority and majority adolescents and young adults indicate sexuality discussions with physicians are infrequent and need improvement. They indicate language use and clinical physical environment are important places where physicians can show inclusiveness and increase comfort. Practice implications Physicians should make an effort to include sexual communication at every visit. They should consider using indirect questions to assess sexual topics, provide other outlets for sexual health information, and ask parents to leave the exam room to improve confidentiality. Clinic staff should participate in Safe Zone trainings, and practices can promote inclusion with signs that indicate safe and accepting environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1472
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume99
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Fingerprint

Sexuality
Health Personnel
Physicians
Communication
Confidentiality
Interviews
Sexual Behavior
Young Adult
Language
Parents
Privacy
Reproductive Health
Puberty
Sexual Minorities

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent-physician sex communication
  • LGBTQ
  • Physician-patient communication
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

“I just think that doctors need to ask more questions” : Sexual minority and majority adolescents’ experiences talking about sexuality with healthcare providers. / Fuzzell, Lindsay; Fedesco, Heather N.; Alexander, Stewart C.; Fortenberry, J.; Shields, Cleveland G.

In: Patient Education and Counseling, Vol. 99, No. 9, 01.09.2016, p. 1467-1472.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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