Health communication 2017 07 07() 1-7 doi 10.1080/10410236.2017.1339379
Effective clinician-patient communication is linked to positive patient health outcomes in adults, yet the research on adolescent populations remains limited. We describe adolescent experiences of clinician-patient HIV/STI communication through qualitative interviews with predominantly African-American adolescent women from a youth-centered primary care clinic. Participants described acknowledging clinicians are professionals, the importance of confidentiality to foster clinician-adolescent communication, and calling for clinician-initiated HIV/STI communication. Adolescents expressed the necessity for clinicians to engage youth in these challenging conversations through an open and understanding approach. Additionally, adolescents described experiences of perceived judgment and uncomfortableness from clinicians, and non-disclosure of HIV/STI risk behaviors to their clinician. Findings underscore the adolescents’ desire to engage in HIV/STI communication with healthcare providers, while highlighting important strategies for clinicians. Results can inform health communication research and practice, and the development of interventions aimed at increasing clinician-adolescent HIV/STI communication.