BACKGROUND: School-based health centers (SBHC) can provide equitable and comprehensive care for adolescents; yet, few studies have described how patterns of health service utilization differ among groups. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in utilization and perceptions of SBHC care among adolescents. METHODS: This study sample included 414 adolescent respondents to the Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities User Survey. Three outcome measures represented utilization of care, while 4 represented perceptions of care. Multivariate logistic regressions modeled the effects of user characteristics on outcome measures. RESULTS: There were few notable and significant differences in either utilization or perceptions of care, based on sociodemographic or health status characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: SBHCs can eliminate differences in utilization based on sociodemographic characteristics. However, null findings show that they fall short in delivering comprehensive care to high-risk adolescents, and may not be capitalizing on opportunities to offer targeted services. Results showing positive perceptions of care suggest that adolescents would be amenable to additional counseling or education services offered at SBHCs. To foster positive health outcomes among adolescents, SBHC administrators should regularly evaluate their scope of services and support quality improvement efforts.
- Quality of care
- School health
- Utilization of care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health