Confidentiality Discussions and Private Time With a Health-Care Provider for Youth, United States, 2016

Stephanie A. Grilo, Marina Catallozzi, John S. Santelli, Hanying Yan, Xiaoyu Song, Jennifer Heitel, Kristen Kaseeska, Julie Gorzkowski, Alexandra E. Dereix, Jonathan D. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of the study was to define factors associated with adolescent and young adult (AYA) experiences with private time and having discussed confidentiality and the impact of these experiences on improving delivery of clinical preventive services. Methods: In 2016, a nationally representative sample of 1,918 US AYAs (13- to 26-year-olds) was surveyed. Survey questionnaire domains were based on prior research and Fishers’ information-motivation-behavior skills conceptual model. Data were weighted to represent US households with AYA and analyzed to identify factors independently associated with ever experiencing private time and discussions of confidentiality with a regular health-care provider (HCP). We examined the association of these experiences on AYA attitudes about health care. Results: Fifty-five percent of female and 49% of male AYA reported ever having had private time with an HCP and 55% of female and 44% of male AYA had spoken to an HCP about confidentiality. Independent predictors of having experienced private time and confidentiality included older age, race, higher household income, gender of the provider, amount of years with the provider, and involvement in risk behaviors. AYA who had experienced private time and confidentiality discussions had more positive attitudes about their providers, were more willing and comfortable discussing sensitive topics, and thought that these discussions should happen at younger ages. Conclusions: Although confidentiality and private time are important to AYA, many are not experiencing these components of care. Providing private time and discussions of confidentiality can improve the delivery of health care for young people by enhancing positive youth attitudes about preventive care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Adolescent health
  • Confidentiality
  • Private time


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