Improving adolescents’ access to primary health care

Lena A Sanci, Melissa S-L Kang and B Jane Ferguson
Med J Aust 2005; 183 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb07106.x
Published online: 17 October 2005

We need to incorporate adolescent health needs into mainstream policy-making, to evaluate services and to collaborate across sectors

Over the past two decades, the barriers to health care access for adolescents have been extensively researched. This research was sparked by worrying trends of adolescents’ worsening mortality and morbidity, such that their health status was worse than that of their parents, and the observation that their health services, compared with those for other age groups, had not improved.1,2 Based on this research, the US Society for Adolescent Medicine has been issuing position statements on effective health care access for adolescents since the early 1990s. In Australia, several national and state initiatives propelled an adolescent health movement, not least in primary care.3 Divisions of General Practice had the scope and financial resources to address local needs, and some chose to run youth-friendly health access projects. Training in adolescent health for clinicians and other professionals emphasised the biopsychosocial model of care and had evidence of effectiveness.4

  • Lena A Sanci1
  • Melissa S-L Kang2
  • B Jane Ferguson3

  • 1 Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Department of General Practice, University of Sydney at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 4 Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development



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