SPECTRUM OF ADOLESCENT PROBLEMS : A ONE YEAR EXPERIENCE AT A NEWLY ESTABLISHED ADOLESCENT CLINICS IN BANGALORE CITY
Galagali Preeti M *
Consultant Pediatrician Radha Ortho & Pediatric Centre, Rajajinagar, Bangalore *
Introduction
In February 1999, IAP adopted the 'Policy on age for Pediatric Care' which stated that Adolescent Care falls in the domain of the Pediatrician. The most important step in providing holistic healthcare to the adolescents is to establish an Adolescent Clinic. To set up appropriate preventive, promotive and curative services at the Adolescent Clinic, it is essential to survey the local adolescent problems.

Aims & Objectives:
  • To study the spectrum of adolescent problems seen in a private Adolescent Clinic in the first year of its inception.
  • To identify need based services to be provided by the Adolescent Clinic.

Materials & Methods: Type of Study : Descriptive Study
Place of Study : Bangalore City
Duration : March 2004 to June 2005
Subjects: Children from 10 to 18 years registered at the Adolescent Clinic.

Methodology: The Trivandrum Screening Questionnaire was used to collect data. The clinical history and examination details were also noted for each patient.

Results:
  • 150 adolescents were studied. 96 (64%) were girls and 54 (36%) boys.
  • 49% had medical problems and 41% had psychosocial problems.
  • Common medical problems were poor visual acuity (37%), dandruff (36%), caries (30%), excessive hair fall (21%) and acne (16%), 13% were underweight and 9% were obese and overweight. 30% had an inadequate caloric intake while only 17% did adequate daily physical activity. Dysmenorrhea (60%) was the most common problem in girls and caries (28%) in boys.
  • Common psychosocial problems were tension headache (25%), poor scholastic performance (14%), adjustment problems (13%), exam anxiety (12%), body image concerns (10%) and depression (3%).
  • Only 11% had completed their immunization according to the vaccination schedule as recommended by the IAP.
Conclusion
  • 1. Adolescents have both medical and psychosocial problems. Hence an Adolescent Clinic should provide counseling services in addition to medical services.
  • 2. A multidisciplinary approach towards adolescent care is essential due to a high prevalence of ophthalmological, dermatological, dental, psychological, gynecological and nutritional disorders. The Pediatrician taking care of the adolescents should not only develop clinical acumen in these fields but also establish adolescent friendly referral network.
  • 3. Adolescent Clinic should give health guidance to all adolescents and their parents regarding healthy lifestyles including adequate caloric intake and physical activity and completion of all necessary immunizations. Screening for various medical and psychosocial problems should be carried out at each visit to the Adolescent Clinic.
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