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Background and Objectives: Adolescent health care has unique features including: psychosocial assessment, privacy and confidentiality. The Royal College of Pediatricians of Thailand supports pediatricians to provide care to adolescents up to 18 years of age, but adolescents are seldom scheduled for health supervision visits. To date there is lack of data on the attitudes and practice in providing adolescent health care. Our objectives are to study pediatric resident’s familiarity to the important aspects of adolescent health care, their confidence and frequency of practice in providing health care to adolescents.
Methods: This is a prospective descriptive study. Residents in the department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University were asked to complete a self administered questionnaire regarding their attitudes and practice in providing adolescent health care during October 1, 2009-September 30, 2012. Data was analyzed by basic statistics.
Results: There were a total of 34 pediatric residents, 30 completed the questionnaire. Regarding principles of adolescent health care, respondents were most familiar to providing confidentiality and least familiar with the HEADS mnemonic. They were most confident in assessment of body mass index (80.0%) and least confident with psychosocial assessment (66.7%). Health issues that residents were most confident is assessing were obesity (46.7%), while emotional problems was the least confident issue (43.3%). In practice, the most frequently provided care was assessment of blood pressure (86.7%) while evaluation for risk of cervical cancer was least provided (3.33%).
Conclusions: Pediatric residents were more confident and provided health care to adolescents regarding physical issues than psychosocial issues. Psychosocial issues and risk behavior should be emphasized in the adolescent medicine curriculum for pediatric residents.
Keywords: Adolescent, Health care, Health supervision, Pediatrics, Residents
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