Adolescent and young adult patients experience significant physical, emotional, and intellectual growth during that formative period of their lives. It is an ideal time for family physicians to educate and inform these patients about making healthy decisions, and to have these discussions in a confidential manner.
Despite strong evidence demonstrating the health benefits, many adolescents and young adults do not receive recommended preventive clinical services. In fact, fewer than half (48%) of individuals 10 to 17 years old receive an annual well visit dedicated to preventive care.1
Recognizing the missed opportunities to improve the health of adolescents and young adults, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) partnered with five other medical organizations to form the Adolescent Health Consortium Project. During the four-year period of the partnership, each organization designed and developed resources to help guide physicians and other health care providers in their care of adolescent and young adult patients.
The consortium participants focused on the following two goals:
Increase youth and parent awareness of the importance of preventive and confidential care for youth.
Increase the number of youth who receive preventive and confidential services, in part through the development and dissemination of resources and recommendations.
Family physicians have tremendous influence on the health of adolescents and young adults. This project encourages AAFP members to talk with parents about the importance of preventive health visits, and to have confidential one-on-one discussions with their adolescent and young adult patients about making healthy decisions.