Partnerships between parents and health care professionals to improve adolescent health

Carol A. Ford, Amy F. Davenport, Andrea Meier, Annie Laurie McRee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Introduction Research on partnerships between parents and health care professionals (HCPs) to improve adolescent health is limited. In this study, we have developed an empirically derived framework to guide research in this particular area. Methods We conducted a qualitative study using focus groups and in-depth semi-structured interviews. A total of 85 participants (51 HCPs, 17 mothers of patients of ages 1218 years, and 17 adolescents) were recruited from three free-standing adolescent health clinics and five school-based health centers across North Carolina. We independently explored the perceptions of HCPs and mothers regarding the roles of parents, HCPs, and parentHCP partnerships in preventing and addressing adolescent health problems. We then elicited feedback of adolescents on mother and HCP perceptions. We identified common and informative themes during content analysis using ATLAS.ti, and triangulated perspectives of HCPs, mothers, and adolescents to develop a framework for building parentHCP partnerships to improve adolescent health. Results A general framework emerged that conceptualizes both direct and indirect strategies for building parentHCP partnerships. Direct strategies involve strengthening relationships and/or communication between parents and HCPs in both practice and community settings. Indirect strategies involve opportunities for HCPs to influence parentadolescent relationships and/or communication within the context of adolescent visits. For example, HCPs can discuss the importance of parental involvement and monitoring with adolescents, encourage and facilitate parentadolescent communication, and deliver tailored parental guidance while also respecting adolescents' desires for confidential health care when appropriate. Conclusions Interventions that directly strengthen parentHCP relationships and/or communication, and those that indirectly support parentHCP partnerships within the context of adolescent health care, should be designed targeting health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent health
  • Adolescent health care
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
  • Health care utilization
  • Parents
  • Patientphysician communication
  • Privacy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.


Dive into the research topics of 'Partnerships between parents and health care professionals to improve adolescent health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this