Adolescent and Parent Perceptions of Telehealth Visits: A Mixed-Methods Study

Bianca A. Allison, Samantha Rea, Lisa Mikesell, Martha F. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Telehealth presents unique benefits and challenges for adolescents and their parents. This study aimed to explore adolescent and parent perceptions of privacy, confidentiality, and therapeutic alliance during telehealth video visits. Methods: This was a cross-sectional convergent parallel mixed-methods study. English-speaking parents and 13- to 17-year-old adolescents who completed a video visit at eight academic-affiliated pediatric primary care practices in the Southeastern U.S. were recruited between September 2020 and January 2021. Online surveys were administered and analyzed using descriptive and bivariable analysis. Subsequent semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Forty-eight adolescents and 104 parents completed surveys. Fourteen adolescents and 20 parents were interviewed. Mean ages of adolescents and parents were 15 and 46 years, respectively, and most participants identified as female, non-Hispanic, and white. Seventy-seven percent of adolescents reported very private telehealth visits. Most privacy concerns were related to the location of the visit in the patient's home or family members overhearing. Adolescents reported that alone time with their provider increased comfort in discussing sensitive issues, although only 31% of adolescents reported having time alone with their provider during their telehealth visit. Neither adolescents nor parents reported concerns about confidentiality. Interviews suggested that adolescent autonomy and independence in accessing health care may explain the positive relationship observed between therapeutic alliance and privacy. Conclusions: Adolescents and parents describe telehealth as convenient, useful, private, and confidential. Providers should strive to maximize privacy and the therapeutic alliance during video visits, including encouraging alone time and supporting adolescent autonomy and independence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-413
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Adolescent care
  • Confidentiality
  • Mixed methods
  • Privacy
  • Telehealth
  • Therapeutic alliance

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