Teenage mothers and their peers: a research challenge.
Recent reports have highlighted the adverse health experience of teenage mothers. The question of how these mothers' perceptions of their own health status and social networks differ from those of their nulliparous peers is explored in this pilot study, which highlights some practical problems associated with research in this important field. (+info)
Developing quality measures for adolescent care: validity of adolescents' self-reported receipt of preventive services.
OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the feasibility of directly surveying adolescents about the content of preventive health services they have received and to assess the validity of adolescent self-reported recall. DATA SOURCES/SETTING: Audiotaped encounters, telephone interviews, and chart reviews with 14-21 year olds being seen for preventive care visits at 15 pediatric and family medicine private practices, teaching hospital clinics, and health centers. DESIGN: 537 adolescents presenting for well visits were approached, 400 (75 percent) consented, 374 (94 percent) were audiotaped, and 354 (89 percent) completed telephone interviews either two to four weeks or five to seven months after their visits. Audiotapes were coded for screening and counseling across 34 preventive service content areas. Intraobserver reliability (Cohen's kappa) ranged from 0.45 for talking about peers to 0.94 for discussing tobacco. The sensitivity and specificity of the adolescent self-reports were assessed using the audiotape coding as the gold standard. RESULTS: Almost all adolescents surveyed (94 percent) remembered having had a preventive care visit, 93 percent identified the site of care, and most (84 percent) identified the clinician they had seen. There was wide variation in the prevalence of screening, based on the tape coding. Adolescent self-report was moderately or highly sensitive and specific at two weeks and six months for 24 of 34 screening and counseling items, including having discussed: weight, diet, body image, exercise, seatbelts, bike helmet use, cigarettes/smoking, smokeless tobacco, alcohol, drugs, steroids, sex, sexual orientation, birth control, condoms, HIV, STDs, school, family, future plans, emotions, suicidality, and abuse. Self-report was least accurate for blood pressure/cholesterol screening, immunizations, or for having discussed fighting, violence, weapon carrying, sleep, dental care, friends, or over-the-counter drug use. CONCLUSION: Adolescents' self-report of the care they have received is a valid method of determining the content of preventive health service delivery. Although recall of screening and counseling is more accurate within two to four weeks after preventive care visits, adolescents can report accurately on the care they had received five to seven months after the preventive health care visits occurred. (+info)
The role of general practice in promoting teenage health: a review of the literature.
BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Teenagers are acknowledged to be at high risk of health-damaging behaviours including smoking, teenage pregnancy, and drug and alcohol use. Additionally, the recognition of high levels of psychological distress is cause for serious concern about teenage health. This paper reviews health promotion interventions for teenagers in general practice. Medline, BIDS, Psyclit and SIGLE databases for January 1990-February 1997 were systematically searched for English language studies on adolescent/teenage health and health promotion interventions in primary health care/general practice; reference sections of articles were checked for earlier work. CONCLUSIONS: The literature indicates that teenagers rarely receive health promotion advice from their physicians. The impact on behaviour change, of screening and health promotion for teenagers in general practice requires further evaluation to asssess the potential effectiveness in preventing the onset or continuation of health-damaging behaviours. (+info)
A collaborative approach to management of chlamydial infection among teenagers seeking contraceptive care in a community setting.
OBJECTIVES: To develop and assess a coordinated model of care for effective management of genital chlamydial infection in young women, identified through a selective screening programme in a community based teenage health clinic. METHODS: Selective screening for genital Chlamydia trachomatis was undertaken among young women aged 13-19 years who were having a routine cervical smear test, being referred for termination of pregnancy, or who reported behavioural risk factors, for, and/or symptoms of, genital infection. Collaboration among family planning, genitourinary medicine (GUM), and public health staff was used to enhance management of infected individuals, with particular focus on partner notification. RESULTS: 94 young women had confirmed genital chlamydial infection, representing 11% of those tested. All index patients received appropriate antibiotic therapy and follow up; 93 (99%) of these were counselled by a health adviser, of whom 62 (66%) were able to provide sufficient details for partner notification, resulting in treatment of male partners associated with 51 (82%) of these young women. Younger age (< or = 16 years) was significantly associated with delay in attending for treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Effective management of genital chlamydial infection is achievable in settings outside GUM clinics using a collaborative approach which incorporates cross referencing between community based services and GUM clinics. (+info)
Effects of health care cost-containment programs on patterns of care and readmissions among children and adolescents.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effects of a utilization management program on patterns of medical care among children and adolescents. METHODS: From 1989 through 1993, the program conducted 8568 reviews of pediatric patients, ranging in age from birth to 18 years. The program used preadmission and concurrent review procedures to review and certify patients' need for care. This study used multivariate analyses to assess changes in the number of days of inpatient care approved by the program and to determine whether limitations imposed on length of stay affected the risk of 60-day readmission. RESULTS: Concurrent review reduced the number of requested days of inpatient care by 3.2 days per patient. Low-birthweight infants and adolescent patients with depression or alcohol or drug dependence accounted for a disproportionate share of the reduction. Patients classified as admitted for medical or mental health care and whose stay was restricted by concurrent review were more likely (P < .05) to be readmitted within 60 days after discharge. CONCLUSIONS: By limiting care through its review procedures, the utilization management program decreased inpatient resource consumption but also increased the risk of readmission for some patients. Continued investigation should be conducted of the effects of cost-containment programs on the quality of care given to children and adolescents, especially in the area of mental health. (+info)
Managed behavioral health care: a Medicaid carve-out for youth.
This DataWatch assesses the impact of a public sector-managed Medicaid mental health carve-out pilot for North Carolina youth. Access to, volume of, and costs of mental health/substance abuse services are reported. We compared a pilot managed care program, with an incentive to shift hospital use and costs to community-based services, with usual fee-for-service Medicaid. Aggregate data from Medicaid claims for youth (from birth to age seventeen) statewide are reported for five years. We found dramatic reductions in use of inpatient care, with a shift to intensive outpatient services, and less growth in mental health costs. These findings demonstrate that public sector-managed care can be viable and more efficient than a fee-for-service model. (+info)
Family planning services in adolescent pregnancy prevention: the views of key informants in four countries.
CONTEXT: Rates of adolescent pregnancy vary widely in the developed world. The prevention of adolescent pregnancy in the United States might be improved by comparing the provision of family planning services in the United States with that in some other developed countries. METHODS: Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 75 key informants (clinicians, politicians, public health administrators, social and behavioral scientists, and antiabortion activists) in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. Inductive, systematic qualitative analysis was performed on verbatim transcripts of these interviews. RESULTS: Across all four countries, interviewees described optimal family planning services for adolescents as those that include accessible, comprehensive and multidisciplinary care provided in confidence by nonjudgmental staff with good counseling and communication skills. Interviewees in Sweden and the Netherlands described a close liaison between family planning services and local schools, while key informants in the United States reported parental resistance to such coordination. Interviewees in the Netherlands and Sweden observed that family planning staffs in their countries have a clear sense of "ownership" of family planning services and better job-related prestige than did interviewees in Great Britain. Respondents in all countries except Sweden reported that providers are not always comfortable providing confidential care to teenagers. This was a particular concern for family planning providers in Great Britain who have patients younger than 16. Respondents in all countries except the United States thought that a "user-friendly" procedure for contraceptive provision should not require a pelvic examination. Finally, interviewees felt that governmental support in the Netherlands and Sweden seems to have led to adequate financing of family planning services, while in the United States, interviewees reported that there seems to be little governmental, medical or familial support for preventive health care, including family planning services. CONCLUSIONS: As described by key informants, the family planning services available to teenagers in the Netherlands and Sweden have many of the features identified by respondents from all four countries as those that would characterize ideal family planning services for adolescents. (+info)
Attitudes of Icelandic young people toward sexual and reproductive health services.
CONTEXT: Iceland has higher levels of fertility among both adult women and adolescents than many other western European countries. There is a need to make sexual and reproductive health services more accessible to teenagers in Iceland. METHODS: A descriptive, cross-sectional national postal survey was conducted in 1996 to explore the attitudes of 2,500 young people aged 17-20 toward sexual and reproductive health services in Iceland and to determine which factors might be of importance for the development of such services. RESULTS: Icelandic adolescents want specialized sexual and reproductive health services offered within a broad-based service setting. Half of them would prefer to have these services located in a sexual and reproductive health clinic, and about one-third want such services to be located in community health centers. Having services that are free, that are anonymous and that do not require an appointment are important to teenagers who live in Reykjavik, but proximity and equal access to services are more highly valued by adolescents who live outside Reykjavik. Characteristics that young women, in particular, value include close proximity to services, access to a comfortable environment, a friendly staff, absolute confidentiality, and the ability to come with a friend and to have enough time for discussion. Adolescents who have already used contraceptive services mentioned that they need enough time for discussion and that they value high-quality client-provider interaction. CONCLUSIONS: The attitudes of adolescents should be considered when specialized sexual and reproductive health services are developed for young people in Iceland. Specialized services that respond to the unique concerns of adolescents may increase their utilization of contraceptive methods and other reproductive health services. (+info)