University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Adolescent Preferences for Topics Addressed During Well Visits

Eugene C. Lee, MD

WMJ. 2017;116(4):210-214.

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Background: Current evidence is limited regarding the topics adolescents want to discuss with clinicians during routine well visits. High school students were surveyed to determine potential adolescent discussion topics, barriers to discussion, and ways to promote dialogue.

Methods: Surveys were distributed between October 2014 and January 2015 to 102 students in the Verona Area High School in Verona, Wisconsin.

Results: Of the topics presented, teens preferred to discuss vaccines and mood/stress with their clinicians. Young women were more likely to prefer gender congruent clinicians, especially when discussing sex or body image. The majority of teens felt that information discussed with their physician would be revealed to parents or the authorities.

Conclusions: In limited time with teens, it is important for clinicians to reinforce confidentiality to gain their trust. Clinicians can improve rapport with adolescents by revealing information about themselves, conveying genuine caring, and considering community involvement. Male clinicians need to work on improving rapport, especially when talking with female adolescents about sex, body image, stress, and mood. Clinicians should consider including mood, stress, and vaccine discussions in their adolescent well visits.

Author Affiliations: University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Madison, Wis; Department of Family Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Ill.
Corresponding Author: Eugene C. Lee, MD, University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, 1100 Delaplaine Ct, Madison, WI 53715; phone 224.622.3277; fax 608.263.5813; e-mail
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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