This guide includes Core Competencies for adult providers and educators of adolescent sexual and reproductive health to deliver effective, sensitive and appropriate programs and services.
Programs and agencies might use the Core Competencies to:
- guide the hiring, training, development and evaluation of staff
- increase collaboration and cross training between agencies
- support consistent health outcomes for adolescents
- ensure that all programs are grounded in shared body of knowledge and skills
Click here to read more.
Queer immigrants face unique challenges such as:
- denied healthcare on the basis that they are immigrants
- non competent healthcare because providers are not educated on LGBTQI issues
- transgender folks are denied healthcare at a higher rate based on identity
Click here to read the entire fact sheet.
The mission of Young Women’s Health is to help teen girls, their parents, teachers, and health care providers improve their understanding of normal health and development, as well as of specific diseases and conditions. The site provides health guides in English and Spanish, health-related quizzes, and an Ask Us section.
To read more about the Center for Young Women’s Health, click here.
Amplify is a project of Advocates for Youth. Advocates for Youth champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates believes it can best serve the field by boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health.
Advocates for Youth envisions a society that views sexuality as normal and healthy and treats young people as a valuable resource. The core values of Rights, Respect, and Responsibility animate this vision. Amplify also has information on sexual health campaigns by state and by international cities.
To read more about Amplify, click here.
The article examines how adolescents and young women, ages 9-26 years old, use general and reproductive health services. This article uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, NAMCS (National Ambulatory Care Survey) and NHAMCS (National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey).
- The proportion of visits made to obstetrician- gynecologists and family practitioners increased with age, and by ages 15–16 years fewer than half of all visits to primary care providers were made to pediatricians. The proportion of visits for reproductive health services peaked at 53% of 7.5 million physician visits at ages 20–21 years.
- This study found that a larger proportion of visits to the outpatient clinics were made by young black women than by white women and women of color are at increased risk of STDs, unintended pregnancy and etc. It is essential that these outpatient clinics provide convenient, comprehensive and quality sexual health services.
- The proportion of visits made by women to family and general practitioners and to general medicine clinics was fairly constant over the range of ages studied. It is important that these provides have resources and training to help focus their attention to women’s reproductive health.
- Obstetrician-gynecologists and family practitioners are able to provide continuity of care throughout patients’ reproductive years and have the greatest expertise and experience in addressing reproductive healthcare needs. They are good choice for reproductive health visits.
Because adolescents and young women most commonly utilize healthcare services provided by obstetrician-gynecologists and family practitioners, these specialties should be priority targets for interventions to improve the quality and availability of reproductive health services.
Citation: Hoover, K.M., Tao, G., & Kent, C.K. (2010). Utilization of health services in physician offices and outpatient clinics by adolescents and young women in the United States: Implication for improving access to reproductive health services. Journal of Adolescent Health. Vol. 46., No. 4. p. 324-330.
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Advocates for Youth over the years to ask, “How can I be more helpful, more open, and more sensitive to the sexual health needs of my patients, especially teens and their parents?” This resource offers some suggestions and tips for physicians that help facilitate communication about sexual health with teens and parents.
Some tips include:
- “Recognize that teens may find it hard to keep an appointment before 3:30 pm. Offer late hours for teens at least one day a week and/or hours on Saturday.” (p. 1)
- “Many teens may be engaging in oral and/or anal sex to remain “virgins,” to avoid pregnancy, or because they don’t realize these are forms of sexual intercourse. Be precise when you ask whether teens are having sex and make sure teens understand that vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse carry risks for STIs, including HIV.” (p. 1)
- “Inquire about teens’ sex education. Don’t assume they know about safer sex or reproduction. The current public school climate is often one of censorship. Teens may have learned only exaggerated failure rates of condoms and other contraceptive methods and misinformation about side effects, relationship to cancer, and fertility problems.” (p. 1)
Citation: Huberman,B. (2002). Tips for health care providers: Helping teens and patents with sexual health needs. Advocates for Youth. p. 1-2
Link to “Tips for Health Care Providers.”
GLBT patients often face discrimination in a healthcare setting. This resource provides tips on how providers can create welcoming environments that are confidential, free of discrimination, and respectful.
- Waiting room reading materials and bulletin boards should include positive items about the GLBT community and materials of interest to the GLBT community.
- Have an affirmative action policy for hiring “out” GLBT people. This will go a long way towards making GLBT patients more comfortable.
- Provide in-depth training for staff members on homophobia and GLBT health concerns. All staff dealing directly with clients should be able to talk comfortably about all forms of sexuality and all gender identities. Have staff practice with each other until they are comfortable.
- Friends and partners of GLBT patients should be given the respect and privileges usually given to a spouse or relative
Culturally competent care for GLBT people:Recommendations for health care providers. (2010). King County Public Health. Retrieved from http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/personal/glbt/CulturalCompetency.aspx
Link to PDF of the article
This interactive tool helps health care professionals assess the quality of services provided to adolescents. Using this resource, you can develop action plans to address policy, operations, training, and other program areas needing adjustment and change.
Youth-friendly programs characteristics assessed by this tool include:
- Facility Hours
- Facility Environment
- Services Provided
- Peer Education/Counseling Programs
- Educational Activities
- Youth Involvement
- Supportive Policies
- Administrative Procedures
Citation: Senderowitz, J., Solter, C., & Hainsworth, G. (2002). Clinic assessment of youth services: A tool for assessing and improving reproductive health services for youth. Pathfinder International. p. 1-21.
Link to “Clinic Assessment of Youth Friendly Services.“
LGBTQ youth appear to have a greater risk for adverse risk outcomes such as HIV and STDs, substance use, depression, and suicide. The authors were interested in learning about the experiences of LGBTQ youth with healthcare providers and healthcare services.
They collected data by placing a survey on Youth Guardian Services, a youth-run non-profit organization that provides support services on the Internet to LGBTQ and straight supportive youth, and it was available for completing by visitors to the site. The survey covered topics about preferences regarding healthcare providers, healthcare settings and the health issues that they consider important to discuss with a healthcare provider.
Results showed that interpersonal skills and how healthcare providers interact with patients were more important to youth than the providers’ specific competencies. Results also showed that LGBTQ youth ranked gender and sexual orientation of the provider among the lowest in importance, implying that these youth do not necessarily need to be served only by LGBTQ healthcare providers.
LGBTQ youth considered preventative healthcare, nutrition, family issues and safe sex as important health concerns and needs. This emphasizes the importance for providers to not only address health risks, but to also stress wellness, health promotion, and psychosocial issues facing LGBTQ in the context of home and family when serving LGBTQ youth.
Hoffman, N.D., Freeman, K., & Swann, S. (2009). Health preference of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Journal of Adolescent Health. 45. p. 222-229.
Link to PDF of “Healthcare Preferences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth”
This is an interview of Abigail English, the Director for the Center of Adolescent Health and Law, which is conducted by Karen Brown, a radio reporter and freelance journalist who focuses on healthcare. In the interview with Brown, English talks about expanding financially accessiblilty and confidentiality for teenagers and what measures need to be taken to do so. Lack of accessibility in healthcare for teens can lead to public health problems, such as the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs. English hopes for a greater focus on financial assistance, preventative care, and outreach for adolescents.
- “Not giving teens some privacy around their health care has been shown, through research studies, to affect the ways in which they seek health care – sometimes delaying or avoiding it altogether.” (Brown, 2010, p. 2)
- “Lack of privacy also influences how candidly teens interact with health care providers and disclose essential information to them about problems like substance use, mental health concerns, and sexual activity.” (Brown, 2010, p. 2)
- “Financial access to health care is a struggle that stretches beyond the issue of confidentiality. english has worked for years to expand medicaid programs to include more low-income teenagers.” (Brown, 2010, p. 2-3)
Citation: Brown, K. (2010). Creating Health Opportunities: Conversations with Adolescent Health Experts. Interview with Abigail English J.D. National Conference of State Legislators. p. 1-4
Link to interview.