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J Fam Pract. 1985 Oct;21(4):263-70.

Adolescent health care: improving access by school-based service.

Abstract

PIP:

Participants in this discussion of the potential of school-based health care services for adolescents included family medicine physicians, school health coordinators, a school nurse, and a community worker. It was noted that health care for adolescents tends to be either inaccessible or underutilized, largely because of a lack of sensitivity to adolescent culture and values. An ideal service for adolescents would offer immediate services for crises, strict confidentiality, ready access to prescribed medications, a sliding-scale scheme, and a staff that is tolerant of divergent values and life-styles. School-based pilot adolescent clinics have been established by the University of New Mexico's Department of Family, Community, and Emergency Medicine to test the community-oriented health care model. On-site clinics provide urgent medical care, family planning, pregnancy testing, psychological counseling, alcohol and drug counseling, and classroom health education. Experience with these programs has demonstrated the necessity for an alliance among the health team and the school administration, parents, and students. Financial, ethical, and political factors can serve as constraints to school-based programs. In some cases, school administrators have been resistant to the provision of contraception to students on school grounds and parents have been unwilling to accept the adolescent's right to confidentiality. These problems in part stem from having 2 separate systems, each with its own values, orientation, and responsibilities, housed in 1 facility. In addition, there have been problems generating awareness of the school-based clinic among students. Health education theater groups, peer counseling, and student-run community services have been effective, however, in increasing student participation. It has been helpful to mold clinic services to meet the needs identified by teenagers themselves. There is an interest not only in curative services, but in services focused on depression and feelings of uncertainty about the future.

PMID:
4045393
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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