Purpose: Many health care institutions provide online health services to adult patients and proxy access to parents of young children. Many of the benefits and barriers to providing such services to adolescent patients remain unclear. Methods: The present work is based on a literature review and expert opinion synthesis. Results: Potential benefits of providing online health services to adolescents include improved health care access, health literacy, and ongoing care. Potential barriers include information complexity, confidentiality concerns, legal issues, and management priorities. Conclusions: Although barriers exist to implementing adolescent access to online health services, the potential benefits are significant. Overcoming these barriers will involve invoking legal and policy strategies and refocusing priorities on adolescent health. © 2009 Society for Adolescent Medicine.
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