Health counseling for adolescents: What they want, what they get, and who gives it

A. Joffe, S. Radius, M. Gall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine the extent of health counseling received by college freshmen from their primary health care providers, 362 students answered questions regarding 15 health topics. Internists provided more counseling than pediatricians and family/general practitioners about smoking and alcohol use, more than pediatricians about drug use and heart disease prevention, and more than family/general practitioners about weight control and nutrition. Pediatricians exceeded family/general practitioners in counseling about weight control and nutrition but did not exceed internists in any areas. For 11 of 15 topics, more than 75% of students reported receiving no counseling. Women were counseled for stress and contraception more frequently than men. Overall, topics most often discussed by physicians were exercise, nutrition, and breast self-examination. The topics most frequently requested by students were exercise, stress (women), depression, weight control (women) and sexually transmitted diseases (men). These data suggest that adolescents receive little health counseling from personal physicians, especially regarding topics leading to great morbidity and mortality for this age group. Pediatricians, especially, must increase the extent of counseling if they are to meet the American Academy of Pediatrics' goal of providing care to adolescents and young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-485
Number of pages5
Issue number3 II
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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