Don't ask, they won't tell: The quality of adolescent health screening in five practice settings

Robert Wm Blum, Trish Beuhring, Marijo Wunderlich, Michael D. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study examined the extent to which comprehensive, age-appropriate adolescent health screening is undertaken in the clinical setting and whether the extent of such screening varies by setting. Methods. Charts of adolescents 13 to 17 years old (n = 788) were randomly selected from five practice settings in Minneapolis, Minn. Each was assessed for the number of biomedical and sociobehavioral health risks screened. Results. In no practice setting was there screening to the level recommended. The two teen clinics screened more extensively for behavioral, psychosocial, substance use and sexual behavior risks than the community family practice setting, which, in turn, screened more extensively than either the private family practice or private pediatric practice settings, which did not differ from each other. Age differences and gender accounted for only small amounts of variance in total number of health risks screened, whereas differences among practice settings accounted for a larger amount. Conclusions. Results suggest substantive deficiencies in private practice settings' implementation of preventive care screening protocols for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1772
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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