Adolescent care: What are the challenges?

Jonathan Ellen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


An appreciation of the value of providing adolescents with appropriate healthcare has grown in the United States and internationally over the past 40 years. Provision of such care can be challenging due to a variety of factors related both to the adolescent patient population and the provider. Defined as the time between the beginning of puberty and maturity, the adolescent years are characterized by extreme growth and change. The provider must consider the cognitive, social, and physical developmental status of individual adolescent patients. Confidentiality and prevention are the cornerstones of adolescent medicine and should be conveyed to the adolescent and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) in a manner that the adolescent can comprehend. A high incidence of morbidity and mortality is associated with risky behaviors commonly undertaken by adolescent patients. Many of the behaviors and habits adolescents develop are carried forward into adulthood, making screening, education, and intervention at the adolescent juncture critical. Many adolescents are not appropriately counseled on a variety of health issues. The overall goal of clinicians providing health services to adolescents should be to improve access to quality care, including preventive and screening efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S122-S127
JournalAdvanced Studies in Medicine
Issue number2 B
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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