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Arch Pediatr. 2009 Aug;16(8):1151-7. doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2009.03.020. Epub 2009 May 1.

[Youth-friendly outpatient care].

[Article in French]

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Groupe de recherche sur la santé des adolescents, institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive, centre hospitalier universitaire de Vaudois, Bugnon 17, 1005 Lausanne, Suisse.


Ambulatory pediatric and family medicine takes care of adolescent patients, most of whom regularly consult a physician. Consultations with young people involve issues specifically related to their age. Regarding health care systems and physicians, adolescents' expectations vary from those of adults, not so much in terms of the issues discussed but in terms of the priorities that they give to them. Confidential interviews are not always proposed but are highly appreciated, as are certain personal qualities on the part of the caregivers such as honesty, respect, and friendliness. Finally, easy access to care together with the continuity of care are essential. Prevention of risk behaviors by screening and health education is clearly insufficient. This issue could be approached during the consultation through a psychosocial history. This is a good opportunity to discuss sensitive issues that adolescents seldom bring up themselves. More systematic prevention would probably decrease youth morbidity and mortality, which are both closely related to risk behaviors. To meet these expectations and special health care needs, the World Health Organization has developed the concept of youth-friendly health services. This concept can be applied in both a specialized adolescence center and a pediatric or family practice. Youth-friendly services are still rarely evaluated but seem to bring a clear benefit in terms of patient satisfaction and access to care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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