Disability and discussions of health-related behaviors between youth and health care providers

Elisabeth M. Seburg, Barbara J McMorris, Ann E Garwick, Peter B Scal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the likelihood of discussing health-related behaviors with health care providers (HCPs), comparing youth with and without mobility limitations (MLs). Methods Analyses were conducted using baseline data from the MyPath study. Adolescents and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 years completed a survey about their health care and health-related experiences. Analyses assessed the relationship between mobility status and discussing health-related behaviors with an HCP. Secondary analyses examined the extent to which adolescents and young adults' engagement in these behaviors was associated with these discussions. Results Overall, we found low rates of discussions about the following topics: substance use, sexual and reproductive health, healthy eating, weight, and physical activity. Adolescents and young adults with MLs were less likely to report discussing substance use and sexual and reproductive health, but were more likely to discuss healthy eating, weight, and physical activity than peers without MLs. Those adolescents and young adults who reported substance use had higher odds of discussing this topic and those who reported having sexual intercourse had higher odds of discussing sexual and reproductive health. Conclusions Results suggest mobility status and a young person's engagement in health risk and promoting behaviors are associated with the likelihood of discussing these behaviors with an HCP. It is important that HCPs view adolescents and young adults with MLs as needing the same counseling and guidance about health-related behaviors as any young person presenting him/herself for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflicts of Interest: Funding for this study comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities 1U48DP001939 (P.B.S., PI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Adolescent health care
  • Health behaviors
  • Mobility limitation
  • Preventive services


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