Assessment of youth-friendly health care: a systematic review of indicators drawn from young people's perspectives

J Adolesc Health. 2013 Jun;52(6):670-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.12.014.


Purpose: To review the literature on young people's perspectives on health care with a view to defining domains and indicators of youth-friendly care.

Methods: Three bibliographic databases were searched to identify studies that purportedly measured young people's perspectives on health care. Each study was assessed to identify the constructs, domains, and indicators of adolescent-friendly health care.

Results: Twenty-two studies were identified: 15 used quantitative methods, six used qualitative methods and one used mixed methodology. Eight domains stood out as central to young people's positive experience of care. These were: accessibility of health care; staff attitude; communication; medical competency; guideline-driven care; age appropriate environments; youth involvement in health care; and health outcomes. Staff attitudes, which included notions of respect and friendliness, appeared universally applicable, whereas other domains, such as an appropriate environment including cleanliness, were more specific to particular contexts.

Conclusion: These eight domains provide a practical framework for assessing how well services are engaging young people. Measures of youth-friendly health care should address universally applicable indicators of youth-friendly care and may benefit from additional questions that are specific to the local health setting.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Social Environment
  • Treatment Outcome