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Teens, Parents View Provider Sexual Health Discussions as Important

However, less than one-third of teens reported discussions about sexual and reproductive health topics other than puberty at most recent visit

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MONDAY, July 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Less than one-third of adolescents report having discussions with their provider about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) topics at their most recent visit, although most adolescents and parents consider these discussions as important, according to a study published online July 12 in Pediatrics.

Renee E. Sieving, Ph.D., R.N., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues used data from a national internet survey of 11- to 17-year-olds and their parents to quantify the perceived importance of provider-adolescent discussions about SRH topics, including puberty, safe dating, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual decision-making, sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV, birth control methods, and where to access SRH services.

The researchers found that most adolescents and parents perceived provider-adolescent discussions about puberty, STIs/HIV, and birth control as important. At their most recent preventive visit, less than one-third of adolescents reported discussions about topics other than puberty. Among younger adolescents, these discussions were particularly uncommon. Discussions about several topics varied by sex within age groups.

"Parents and teens recognize that their providers are trusted resources for sexual and reproductive health," write the authors of an accompanying editorial. "Providers of preventive care must work to reduce missed opportunities for providing wanted and needed information."

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