Health screening and history of an adolescent or young adult client
Health screening and history are important components of the healthcare process, especially for adolescent and young adult clients. The following are some key considerations when conducting a health screening and history for this population:
- Confidentiality: Adolescents and young adults may be more likely to disclose sensitive information if they trust that their information will be kept confidential. Therefore, it is important to establish confidentiality and explain the limits to confidentiality (such as mandatory reporting laws for certain issues) at the beginning of the appointment.
- Developmental stage: Adolescents and young adults are in a unique developmental stage, which can affect their health behaviors and attitudes. For example, they may engage in risky behaviors, such as substance use or unprotected sex, which can affect their health. Understanding their developmental stage can help healthcare providers tailor their approach and recommendations accordingly.
- Medical history: Obtaining a comprehensive medical history is important, including past and current illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations. It is also important to inquire about family history of medical conditions and risk factors.
- Sexual history: Adolescents and young adults may be sexually active or at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unintended pregnancies. Therefore, it is important to ask about sexual activity, contraception use, and previous STI testing and treatment.
- Mental health history: Adolescents and young adults may be at risk for mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. It is important to inquire about their mental health history, including any past diagnoses, treatments, and current symptoms.
- Substance use history: Adolescents and young adults may experiment with or use substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. It is important to inquire about their substance use history, including frequency, quantity, and any related issues or consequences.
- Nutrition and physical activity: Adolescents and young adults may have unique nutrition and physical activity needs, as they may be growing and developing. It is important to inquire about their diet and physical activity habits, and to provide guidance and recommendations as needed.
By obtaining a comprehensive health screening and history, healthcare providers can identify potential health issues or risks and provide appropriate interventions and referrals.