Objective: To evaluate the implementation of an intervention to increase the delivery of adolescent preventive services within a large managed care organization. Target health areas were tobacco, alcohol, sexual behavior, and safety (seat belt and helmet use).
Data source/study design: Adolescent reports of clinician screening and counseling were obtained from adolescents who attended well visits with their primary care providers. A prepost study design was used to evaluate the preventive services intervention. The intervention had three components: (1) 89 clinicians from three outpatient pediatric clinics attended a training to increase the delivery of preventive services; (2) customized adolescent screening and provider charting forms were integrated into the clinics; and (3) the resources of a health educator were provided to the clinics.
Data collection: Following a visit, adolescents completed surveys reporting on clinician screening and counseling for each of the target risk areas. Preimplementation (three months), 104 adolescents completed surveys. Postimplementation of the training, tools, and health educator intervention, 211 adolescents completed surveys (five months). For 18 months postimplementation clinicians delivered services and 998 adolescents completed surveys.
Principal findings: Chi-square analyses of changes in screening from preimplementation to postimplementation showed that screening increased in all areas (p < .000), with an average increase in screening rates from 47 percent to 94 percent. Postimplementation counseling in all areas also increased significantly, with an average increase in counseling rates from 39 percent to 91 percent. There were slight decreases in screening from postimplementation to follow-up.
Conclusions: This study offers support for the efficacy of providing training, tools, and resources as a method for increasing preventive screening and counseling of adolescents across multiple risky health behaviors during a routine office visit.