Patient-provider communication in nephrology care for adolescents and young adults

S. S. Coburn, M. N. Eakin, D. Roter, C. Pruette, T. Brady, S. Mendley, S. Tuchman, B. Fivush, K. A. Riekert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective To compare the relative quantity of talk between providers, caregivers, and adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and how communication differs by age. Methods During nephrology clinic visits, conversations between AYAs with CKD (N = 99, ages 11–20, median = 15), their caregivers, and providers (N = 19) were audiotaped and coded using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. Linear mixed models tested AYA age differences in talk frequency by AYAs, caregivers, and providers. Post-hoc analyses tested differences in talk using AYA age groups. Results During clinic visits, providers spoke the most (63.7%), and caregivers spoke more (22.6%) than AYAs (13.7%). Overall talk differed by AYA age in AYAs (p < 0.001) and caregivers (p < 0.05), but not providers. Higher AYA age was associated with more AYA talk (biomedical information-giving, partnering, rapport-oriented) and less caregiver biomedical information-giving (ps < 0.001–0.05). In post-hoc analyses, young adults talked more than adolescents; caregiver talk decreased in the middle-adolescent group. Conclusions Increases in AYA talk occur primarily in young adulthood, whereas caregiver talk decreases in middle adolescence. This may indicate an appropriate developmental shift but raises concerns about conversational gaps during middle-adolescence. Practice implications During transition-oriented treatment planning, providers should engage both AYAs and caregivers to avoid potential gaps in communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1680-1687
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Adolescents
  • Caregivers
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Nephrology
  • Patient-provider communication
  • Pediatric
  • Subspecialty
  • Transition
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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