Health screening and history of an adolescent or young adult client

A history and screening for health of an adolescent/young adult client

Adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable to health screening and history. These are the key points to remember when you do a screening or history on this age group:

  1. Confidentiality. Adolescents, and even young adults, may share more sensitive information if their privacy is respected. It is therefore important that you establish confidentiality at the start of your appointment and clearly explain what the limitations are (e.g. mandatory reporting laws on certain topics).
  2. Stage of development: Teenagers and young adults go through a distinct developmental phase that can have a significant impact on their attitude and behaviors. Their health can be affected by their risky behavior, like unprotected or illegal sex. Healthcare providers can tailor their recommendations and approach to their patients based on their developmental stage.
  3. A complete medical history. This includes past, current, and recent illnesses as well as hospitalizations. You should also inquire about your family’s history and any risk factors.
  4. Sexual history: Young adults and adolescents may have sexual histories. They could be at high risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), or might even want to get pregnant. Ask about your sexual activities, contraception and any treatment for STIs.
  5. Mental health history: Young adults and adolescents may have mental issues such as anxiety or depression. Ask about your loved ones’ mental health history. This includes past and present diagnoses, treatment, as well as current symptoms.
  6. The history of substance abuse: Teenagers and young adults can experiment with, use, or smoke substances like alcohol, tobacco, or drug. You should ask about the substance history of your child, such as frequency and quantity.
  7. Physical activity and nutrition: Young adults and adolescents may need special nutritional and activity requirements, because they are growing up. You should ask about the diets and exercise habits of your child and offer guidance and suggestions if necessary.

Healthcare providers are able to identify possible health risks or issues by obtaining comprehensive information and assessing your health history.

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