BackgroundResearch has indicated disagreement between physicians, caregivers, and adolescents with special health care needs regarding appropriate risk counseling. ObjectiveThe study examines caregivers’ perceptions of adolescent risk counseling. We hypothesize caregivers of adolescents with special healthcare needs will perceive a lower rate of risk counseling. MethodsData come from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. The sample included 13,542 adolescents. Analysis completed using logistic regression with odds ratios. ResultsThe results indicate no difference in caregiver perceptions of risk counseling for adolescents with special healthcare needs. Gender, race/ethnicity, and relationship between caregiver and provider influenced perception of receipt of risk counseling, regardless of health status. ConclusionsAlthough adolescents with special healthcare needs perceive their risk behavior counseling to be lacking in quantity/quality, caregivers perceive such counseling does occur. These results highlight the need for comprehensive risk counseling for groups at risk of known health disparities. Practice implicationsPhysicians and providers should be provided with the training and resources needed to be comfortable to engage in risk counseling. Adolescents need the opportunity to see their provider privately, and education to advocate for information risky behaviors. Parents, providers, and adolescents should be included in future risk counseling intervention plans.

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