Provider Q&AYour Practice

What’s the best way to ask a parent to step out of the adolescent visit?

There are a few steps you can take to ask a parent to step out. First, lay out a course for the visit, for example: “We will spend some time talking together about Joseph’s health history and any concerns that you or he might have, and then I will also spend some time alone with Joseph. At the end of the visit, we will all meet together again to clarify any tests, treatments or follow-up plans.”

Explain the office/clinic policy on adolescent visits, including: acknowledging that the youth is a minor and so has specific legal rights related to consent and confidentiality; introducing the concept of fostering adolescent self-responsibility and confidentiality; reinforcing that this policy applies to all adolescents, and is not specific to their child.

Validate the parental role in their child’s health and well-being. Elicit any specific questions or concerns from the parent. It is appropriate to direct questions and discussion to the youth while attending to and validating parental input.

Invite the parents to have a seat in the waiting area, assuring them that you will call them prior to closing the visit.

To learn more about asking a parent to step out, consider viewing the Physicians for Reproductive Health’s Standardized Case Video titled Asking a Parent to Step Out.