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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Improving the attitudes of primary care practitioners toward adolescent care: a pre-post intervention pilot study

Maria Inês Santos
  • Corresponding author
  • Serviço de Pediatria – Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu, EPE, Av. Rei D. Duarte, 3504-509 Viseu, Portugal
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Frederico Rosário
  • Tomaz Ribeiro’s Primary Health Care Centre, Family Physician, Tondela, Portugal
  • Institute of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Elisabete Santos / Alzira Ferrão
Published Online: 2018-04-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0176



Investing in adolescent health is among the most cost-effective health measures. Primary care practitioners are ideally positioned to deliver such interventions. However, several barriers hinder them from engaging with adolescents.


To pilot test the impact of a 1-day training session on adolescent health on the attitudes of primary care practitioners toward adolescent care.


Participants were family physicians and nurses enrolled in a 1-day training session on adolescent health.


A non-randomized, pre-post intervention study with no control group. Data on barriers for providing care to adolescents, preferred pediatric age group and attitudes toward adolescent care were collected immediately prior. Participants’ attitudes were measured again immediately after training.


Most participants reported they preferred to attend pediatric groups other than adolescents. The most frequently reported barriers were: excessive amount of time needed and lack of training. Participants reported positive pre-training attitudes, with mean scores above the midpoint of the scale in all dimensions. Significant positive improvements were observed after training in Adequacy, Self-esteem and Satisfaction. Subgroup analysis showed that at baseline, professionals who preferred to work with adolescents had significantly more positive attitudes in Adequacy, Self-esteem and Satisfaction. After training there was a general improvement in attitudes in both groups, with attenuation of the differences between them.


Participation in a 1-day tailored educational intervention on adolescent health had a positive impact on the attitudes of primary care practitioners, regardless of their preferred age group. This improvement may lead to more active engagement with adolescents and substantial health gains.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: adolescent health; attitudes; continuing medical education; primary health care


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About the article

Received: 2017-10-07

Accepted: 2018-01-15

Published Online: 2018-04-10

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170176, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0176.

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