Adolescent Health Care: Factors and Impact

Important Factors of Influence

Many factors affect individuals in the stage of adolescent development. People of ages from twelve to eighteen are exposed to multiple spheres of influence, including social, biological, environmental, and cognitive changes. However, the most important factors that impact the development of persons of that age are social and biological aspects of growing up (World Health Organization, 2015). First of all, the period of adolescence is characterized by various biological changes that significantly affect both boys and girls (Dittus, 2016). These physiological changes affect people’s behavior and mental state as well as their physical appearance. Moreover, the social factor also plays a significant role in one’s development. People of that age become more independent from their parents and guardians as they gain more responsibilities than before.

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What Is Missing in the Western Society

It is possible that Western society lacks a proper way of communicating with adolescents on the topics of health and well-being. Moreover, the inability to encourage mindfulness in adolescents may also affect the approach of medical professionals in addressing the issue of health promotion. While many health services are open to individuals of that age, medical professionals fail to connect to younger people in order to explain the importance of maintaining their health. According to Ambresin, Bennett, Patton, Sanci, and Sawyer (2013), it is important for service providers to create a youth-friendly system that will help doctors to connect with adolescents and embrace their vision.

The Impact of Health Care Problems in Adolescence

The age of adolescence is important in the process of growing up. Thus, any changes that significantly affect a person during that period may have a lasting effect on the individual’s well-being (De Sanctis et al., 2014). For example, some physical issues such as skin problems may impact one’s physical and mental health as an adult. Furthermore, some changes may impact their social life. Therefore, it is important to discuss these changes with patients in order to ameliorate their effect.

The Patient’s Case

Examination and History

The complaint about a “lump” in the patient’s chest should be discussed with the patient and her mother. It is important to explain the possibilities connected to that feeling. Due to the patient’s age, a conversation with her mother should also be considered in order to get a full understanding of the patient’s medical history. Physical examination should include palpation in upper extremities and a breast exam to find the signs of breast deformity, masses, muscle or skin tenderness, nipple discharge, and any additional changes. The sexual history of the patient should be evaluated as well. The history of the mother’s health is important to assess in this case (Ford et al., 2016). Such points in her medical history as breast cancer or any other type of cancer should be addressed to eliminate the possible predisposition of the patient to these issues.

Teaching

The process of teaching the patient should include a discussion about doing regular self-examinations and self-assessments and visiting a clinic on a regular basis. Moreover, one can provide the patient with some information on breast health, breast cancer, and other conditions that may be connected to breast pain. For example, some changes in the patient’s body are triggered by puberty and may invoke breast pain or tenderness. While assessing the patient’s sexual history, it is important to take her age into account and provide her with support and open discussion. Sexual education should remain informative and positive in order to avoid invoking negative feelings in the patient (ten Hoope-Bender et al., 2017). The patient is fourteen. Thus, she is possibly going through changes connected to puberty. Therefore, according to Cherry, Baltag, and Dillon (2016), the discussion about sexual health should include necessary information on the topics of safety and prevention.

References

Ambresin, A. E., Bennett, K., Patton, G. C., Sanci, L. A., & Sawyer, S. M. (2013). Assessment of youth-friendly health care: A systematic review of indicators drawn from young people’s perspectives. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(6), 670-681.

Cherry, A. L., Baltag, V., & Dillon, M. E. (Eds.). (2016). International handbook on adolescent health and development: The public health response. New York, NY: Springer.

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De Sanctis, V., Soliman, A. T., Fiscina, B., Elsedfy, H., Elalaily, R., Yassin, M., & El Kholy, M. (2014). A practical approach to adolescent health care: A brief overview. Rivista Italiana di Medicina dell’Adolescenza, 12(1), 1-10.

Dittus, P. J. (2016). Promoting adolescent health through triadic interventions. Journal of Adolescent Health, 59(2), 133-134.

Ford, C. A., Cheek, C., Culhane, J., Fishman, J., Mathew, L., Salek, E. C.,… & Jaccard, J. (2016). Parent and adolescent interest in receiving adolescent health communication information from primary care clinicians. Journal of Adolescent Health, 59(2), 154-161.

ten Hoope-Bender, P., Nove, A., Sochas, L., Matthews, Z., Homer, C. S., & Pozo-Martin, F. (2017). The ‘Dream Team’ for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health: An adjusted service target model to estimate the ideal mix of health care professionals to cover population need. Human Resources for Health, 15(1), 46.

World Health Organization. (2015). Core competencies in adolescent health and development for primary care providers: Including a tool to assess the adolescent health and development component in pre-service education of health-care providers. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

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