Physicians have an important role to play in the health of teenagers who come to their offices. The physician can help teenagers to understand their physical and emotional changes, to talk about sensitive issues in the family, and to identify and reduce some of the risks of adolescent life. The best strategy is to screen each adolescent and offer brief interventions or advice. A referral or a follow-up visit may be necessary for teenagers with more complicated problems. A number of tools can help a physician's office meet the needs of its teenagers: screening forms, parent materials, an explanation of confidentiality, a community resource list, and health education materials. Meeting the challenge of good adolescent care makes for better adolescent health and a more rewarding office practice.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.