Preventing multiple health risks and mental health problems in adolescents by preventive child healthcare: a reflection tool
de Wolff, M.
Klein Velderman, M.
Health risk behaviors, such as smoking, drug use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity, often accumulate during adolescence and are relatively persistent throughout the life course. Moreover, these can make youth vulnerable for developing consequent (mental) health problems. Community pediatric services (in the Netherlands called Preventive Child Healthcare, PCH) are important for the early detection of multiple health risks and mental health problems, because they offer healthcare services to the population as a whole. What do preventive healthcare professionals need to know and what do they need to measure with respect to multiple (mental) health risk behaviors in adolescents in order to detect vulnerable adolescents? How is PCH optimal positioned? And what is an appropriate form of contact with adolescents? Which tools can be used to support PCH in their task regarding identification and targeting health risk behaviors and mental health problems? In order to help PCH organization to answer these questions, a reflection tool was developed. This reflection tool is based on the outcomes of the Dutch HEY (Health Equality Youth) research project on mental health in adolescents. In this study (Wijbenga et al., 2022) individual and social factors have been identified that contribute to the accumulation of health risk behaviors in adolescents. The study revealed how unhealthy behaviors are related to mental problems in adolescents. Additionally, literature was reviewed on adolescents’ perceptions on vulnerability and the role of PCH in this regard. This tool may be used by PCH to obtain more insight into the degree to which their current activities and work method for adolescents fit with the available knowledge regarding multiple risk behaviors and mental health problems of adolescents. This reflection tool consists of 42 questions that can be answered by PCH professionals. These professionals are challenged in the tool to reflect on their own methods and actions. During several sessions/webinars PCH professionals were given the opportunity to try out the reflection tool. These professionals were motivated to start working with the reflection tool. In this contribution, we present the tool and its development.
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Conventus Credo, Zagreb
21st EUSUHM (European Union for School and University Health and Medicine) Congress School and Adolescent Health Priorities - Rethinking, Redefining, Responding, 29th Sept-2nd Oct 2022, Split, Coratia, 113