Guidelines for adolescent preventive services: The GAPS in practice

Anne Gadomski, Shannon Bennett, Margaret Young, Lawrence S. Wissow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Design: Pre- and post-Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services (GAPS) comparison of outcomes gathered via chart audit. Setting: A rural hospital-based general pediatric clinic. Participants: Adolescents who underwent annual examinations between April 1, 1998, and March 31, 2001. A random sample of 441 medical records was reviewed. Intervention: Training in the GAPS model and use of the questionnaire began in April 1998. Main Outcome Measures: Detection of, discussion of, and referrals for GAPS-related risk behavior. Results: The medical records of 162 younger adolescents (aged 11-15 years) and 279 older adolescents (aged 16-19 years) were audited. Detection of risk behaviors increased from 19% at baseline to 95% with the initial GAPS and 87% with the periodic GAPS. The most prevalent risk factor was having a rifle or gun in the home (younger adolescents, 47% and older adolescents, 39%). The mean number of risk behaviors and health concerns documented was higher in the initial GAPS (4.8 and 1.3, respectively) than in the periodic GAPS (3.8 and 0.7) (P = .01 and .006). The GAPS questionnaires detected lower levels of risk behavior compared with a local Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Controlling for sex, age, and clinician, discussion of psychosocial topics increased during the study period; however, there was considerable variation among clinicians regarding the topics addressed. The GAPS-related referral rate did not change significantly. Conclusion: The GAPS model increases clinicians' detection and discussion of risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-432
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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