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Survey Highlights Differing Views of Teen Health Care

A new Pfizer-supported survey shows that teens, parents of teens, and health care providers may have differing perceptions about teen health.

Several U.S. professional societies recommend annual checkups for teens1, 2 because the visits offer a chance for discussions of important health topics, such as vaccinations, weight, and stress-related conditions. However, a recent survey showed that only 61 percent of parents polled believed annual visits are important for teens.3

This was one of several findings from a survey of more than 2,000 participants, which included teenagers, parents of teens, and health care professionals that revealed differing perceptions about teen health. The survey was fielded by Harris Interactive on behalf of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) in collaboration with and with support from Pfizer Inc.

The survey revealed a number of misperceptions and potential missed opportunities, including:

Two out of three teens said they worry a lot or a great deal about staying healthy,but only 28 percent of parents reported that they believe their teens worry a lot or a great deal about their health.5

About half of physicians assumed teens' friends were a most trusted source of health information for teens,6 although teens surveyed (43 percent) actually listed health care providers as a most trusted source for health information.7

In addition to conducting the survey, Pfizer launched a Parents Active in Teen Health Web site. The Web site – www.myteenshealth.com – provides tips for parents navigating the teen health landscape and hosts some of the survey results.

  1. SAHM. Clinical Preventive Services for Adolescents. P204
  2. AMA. Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services 1997. P1
  3. Weighted Data From Parent Survey 2/7/13 Q900 Page 15
  4. Weighted Data From Teen Survey 2/7/13 Q705 Page 12
  5. Weighted Data From Parent Survey 2/7/13 Q710 Page 22
  6. Weighted Data From HCP Survey 2/7/13 Q1065 Page 100
  7. Weighted Data From Teen Survey 2/7/13 Q810 Page 51

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