Preventative Care Visits of Adolescents and Health Behaviors
The adolescent population has increased rates of health issues, which can be carried into adulthood. Health issues that are often preventable include diabetes, high blood pressure, being overweight or underweight, and high cholesterol. Health behaviors provide information about the patient’s lifestyle, such as social behaviors, tobacco and alcohol use, sexual health, diet, physical activity, emotional health, and academic functioning. If the number of young people developing health issues is growing, these health issues will impact our families, communities, and the workforce. Consequently, the population of 10- to 18-year-old patients in the U.S. have decreased rates of preventative care visits compared to younger children, with 19% - 46% not having an annual preventative visit (Child Health, 2020; Rand, 2018). The purpose of this Evidence-Based Practice review is to determine if preventative care affects adolescent health behaviors compared to those that do not attend preventative visits. Thus, the goal of this study is to assess if health behaviors are addressed at preventative care visits, which in turn can affect health outcomes and decrease the numbers of preventable health conditions. The findings of this brief may provide information of how to improve the care that adolescents receive and increase preventative services provided to this population. Nurses and other healthcare providers can benefit from this research when it comes to engaging adolescent patients with their healthcare and providing education on the benefits of preventative care. Health outcomes may be improved by preventative screenings, continued management of health issues, and teaching positive health behaviors.