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Primary health care teams should remember the needs of adolescents
What do adolescents, aged between 10 and 18, need that can be supplied by primary health care? What do adolescents want from primary health dare? How do adolescents use primary health care? What is in adolescent health for primary health care? The reasons for the present paucity of hterature on these subjects include "labelling" of adolescents by health professionals as low users of primary health care services, confusion during the shift of responsibility for health care from parents to adolescents, the perception of doctors and nurses (shared by many parents) that adolescents are hard to understand and talk to, and a fear of unnecessarily overmedicalising adolescents' lives.
A cross sectional study found that adolescents reported coughs and colds (13%), hay fever (5%), skin problems (5%), and asthma (4%). The conimonest reasons for this age group to consult a general practitioner are respiratory illness, infective and parasitic diseases, diseases of tlle nervous system, and skin disease. The main reasons for …