On a weekday after school, an adolescent girl sits in a private room at a teens-only reproductive health clinic, discussing birth control use with a counselor. After the meeting, she is able to get birth control without a pelvic exam or pap test.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sets this scene on a new webpage and infographic created in conjunction with the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH). As part of their teen pregnancy prevention efforts, the organizations developed best practices clinics can follow to ensure their services are teen-friendly.
The webpage focuses on key elements like:
- Confidentiality. Letting clients know that health information disclosed or discussed during a visit is confidential and won’t be shared without their permission.
- Accessibility. Services are provided during hours and days convenient to teens — like after school or weekend hours.
- Comprehensive. A wide range of contraceptive and reproductive services available and referrals for any that are not.
- And more. The full list is available on the teen clinic webpage.
The NEFL Teen Pregnancy Task Force identified access to adolescent health care as a theme in “Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Northeast Florida: A Community Action Plan.” Developing at least one adolescent health clinic in each county was an implementation strategy in the plan.
Research has shown that teens are more likely to use, and do better in, clinics that offer a comprehensive, interdisciplinary model of physical, behavioral and reproductive health care that is explicitly design to welcome adolescents and respond to their particular needs.