Adolescent Health Care Services and Models of Care for Treatment, Prevention, and Healthy Development

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Children and Families, Health Care Workforce, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Public Health, Quality and Patient Safety, Select Populations and Health Equity, Substance Use and Mental Health
Board: Board on Children, Youth, and Families

Activity Description

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine formed an ad hoc study committee to provide guidance to public and private agencies in making capacity-building and infrastructure investments to strengthen and improve health care services for youth, especially for underserved populations. The committee studied adolescent health care services and developed policy and research recommendations that highlighted critical health care needs, promising service models, and components of care that contribute to healthy adolescent development. The committee focused on the following questions:

1.  What does the evidence base suggest as effective health care and health promotion services for adolescent populations? What features do parents, community leaders, and youth themselves perceive to be essential components of quality health care for adolescent populations?

2.  What are the strengths and limitations of comprehensive health care centers when compared with other service models (such as standard care systems or special population centers) in addressing adolescent health care needs? What service models show significant promise in offering primary care as well as prevention, treatment, and health promotion services for selected disorders (such as asthma or substance use) and special adolescent populations (such as youth in foster care or juvenile detention)?

3.  What organizational settings and finance strategies promote interest in, access to, and use of health care services by adolescents? Do important differences occur in the utility and outcomes of different service models within selected adolescent populations on the basis of social class, urbanicity, ethnicity, gender, age, or risk status?

4.  What kinds of training programs for health care providers are necessary to improve the quality of health care for adolescent populations?  What innovative strategies have been developed to address concerns about decision making, privacy, confidentiality, consent, and parental notification in adolescent health care settings?

5.  What policies, mechanisms, and contexts promote the integration of adolescent health care, health promotion, and youth development services? What barriers impede the optimal provision of adolescent health services? What strategies help adolescents to engage with and navigate the health care system, especially those at significant risk for health disorders in areas such as sexual and reproductive health, substance use, mental health, violence, and diet?

The committee held five meetings, compiled a comprehensive literature review; commissioned background papers, and held site visits as part of the data collection. The committee also convened two workshops for (1) research and health care service experts, and (2) community and youth leaders. A summary of the two workshops was published as well as a final committee consensus report.

Funding for this study was provided to The National Academies by The Atlantic Philanthropies (USA), Inc.

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