July 03, 2018, 03:44 pm Chris Crawford – On July 12, the AAFP will host a free webinar from 11:30 a.m. to noon CDT that addresses clinical preventive service recommendations for adolescents and young adults. Topics will include focusing on the importance of confidential one-on-one time with these younger patients.
The webinar will help family physicians reduce missed opportunities to improve the health of teen and young adult patients and tackle issues related to the physical, emotional and intellectual growth that happens during these patients' formative years.
Although the webinar does not carry CME credit, family physicians who participate should be able to:
Family physician Margot Savoy, M.D., M.P.H., department chair at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, will lead the webinar.
"I am very excited for the opportunity to help fellow family docs brush up on evidence-based recommendations for preventive care in adolescents and young adults," Savoy told AAFP News. "I've already seen the start of physical exam season kick off in my practice, and each one of those sports physicals, camp physicals and driver's license exams gives me an opportunity to address some key health issues for my teen and young adult patients."
The biggest takeaway point of the webinar, she said, is the critical importance of protecting the one-on-one private time for these patients.
"That's because there is a marked difference in what (patients in these age groups) report when alone versus what they will share in front of parents, even if they agree to keep the parent in the room," Savoy said.
Savoy said to address the care gaps that exist with younger patients, the AAFP webinar will connect members with resources they can use themselves and share with patients and their parents.
For example, for more than a year now, the AAFP has offered an Adolescent and Young Adult Health resource on its website that includes policies on teen suicide prevention; violence, harassment and school bullying; obesity; tobacco and smoking; sports medicine; and adolescent health care confidentiality.
Additionally, Savoy said, this resource includes clinical recommendations for alcohol misuse, depression, illicit drug use, motor vehicle safety, skin care, STDs and immunization schedules for teenage and young adult patients.
The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable also just launched a campaign called The Power to Prevent HPV Cancer, which includes a communication toolkit. Practices can sign up to download the toolkit, which aims to help them reach out to their patients through social media to improve immunization rates.
Savoy said the Academy is promoting this campaign for HPV vaccination and encourages family physicians to use the school physical season as an opportunity to promote teen vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, HPV and meningococcal disease.
Another valuable resource for treating adolescent and young adult patients, she said, is the AAFP Foundation's Highlight on Vaccinations 4 Teens resource library, which includes video resources, an at-a-glance teen vaccination fact sheet and ready-to-go templates for reminders to send to teen patients and their parents/guardians.
In conclusion, Savoy said she thinks family physicians should participate in the AAFP's webinar because many might be stunned like she was when she learned that teen and young adult patients didn't request one-on-one time away from their parents, even though they wanted it.
"I have always asked teen patients if I can ask personal questions with their mom or dad in the room, but that simply isn't the best way to provide the care they need," she said. "They deserve better from us, and understanding that forever changed how I conduct teen and young adult visits."
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