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Am J Prev Med. 2015 Aug;49(2):238-47. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.02.022. Epub 2015 Apr 29.

Adolescent and Young Adult Preventive Care: Comparing National Survey Rates.

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Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Electronic address:
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.



The Affordable Care Act's preventive healthcare provisions have the potential to increase adolescents' and young adults' receipt of recommended preventive services. Assessing whether this potential is realized requires valid monitoring data in several areas, including receipt of an annual preventive visit. The purpose of this study is to describe and compare preventive visit rates across national surveys for adolescents and young adults.


This study, conducted in 2014: (1) identified national surveys with past-year preventive visit measures; (2) compared survey features, including mode of administration, respondent, response rate, demographic profile (univariate analysis), preventive visit measure wording, and method of construction; and (3) compared preventive visit rates, including rates among sociodemographic subgroups (bivariate analyses).


Four 2011 surveys were identified: National Health Interview Survey, National Survey of Children's Health (2011-2012), and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) for adolescents, and MEPS and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for young adults. Surveys varied by most assessed features; demographic profiles were similar. Preventive visit rates varied significantly across adolescents (43%-81%) and young adults (26%-58%). The largest differences in visit rates were in comparisons of subjective assessments to a more detailed assessment coded from specific records of visits kept by respondents. Sociodemographic differences in visit rates were consistent across surveys.


Further research is needed to assess reasons for the different estimates of preventive visits across national surveys. Those who monitor trends in receipt of recommended care for adolescents and young adults should take survey differences into account. Monitoring content of care is also needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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