Teenagers Who Don’t Receive Adequate Health Care May Suffer with More Poor Health as Adults

Teenagers_ Who_ Don’t_ Receive_ Adequate_ Health_ Care_ May_ Suffer_ with_ More_ Poor_ Health_ as _Adults_Childrens_Medical_Group_Poughkeepsie_Pediatrics

Reducing unmet health care needs among pregnant women and young children has been shown to improve long-term health outcomes and reduce health care utilization.


The study included 14,800 participants, and it found that the odds of adverse health outcomes in adulthood were 13% – 52% higher among those who reported having unmet health care needs during adolescence.


The reasons adolescents may not be obtaining proper care vary.  37.2% said proper care was perceived as having low importance in their life, 22.7% said they were worried about the negative consequences of health care, and 32% said they had issues with access to care.   Other studies have shown that teenagers may forgo health care due to concerns about cost, confidentiality, staff unfriendliness, poor communications, and being treated with a lack of respect.[2] [3]


The authors of this study found that unmet health care need was common in all insurance categories and sociodemographic groups. They concluded that reducing unmet health care needs among adolescents may be a highly effective investment to improve health outcomes. [4]





[1] Miller S, Wherry L. The Long-Term Health Effects of Early Life Medicaid Coverage (Working Paper). University of Michigan. Available at: http://www-personal.umich.edu/∼mille/MillerWherry_Prenatal2014.pdf

[2] National Research Council and Institute of Medicine
Lawrence RS, Appleton-Gootman J, Sim LJ, eds. Committee on Adolescent Health Care Services and Models of Care for Treatment Prevention and Healthy Development. Adolescent Health Services: Missing Opportunities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2009

[3] Tylee A, Haller DM, Graham T, Churchill R, Sanci LA. Youth-friendly primary-care services: how are we doing and what more needs to be done? Lancet. 2007;369(9572):1565–1573pmid:17482988

[4] World Health Organization. Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health. Making health services adolescent friendly: developing national quality standards for adolescent friendly health services. Available at:http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/75217/1/9789241503594_eng.pdf.