A measurement framework for quality health care for adolescents in hospital

J Adolesc Health. 2014 Oct;55(4):484-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.01.023. Epub 2014 Mar 31.


Purpose: Despite growing interest in measurement of health care quality and patient experience, the current evidence base largely derives from adult health settings, at least in part because of the absence of appropriately developed measurement tools for adolescents. To rectify this, we set out to develop a conceptual framework and a set of indicators to measure the quality of health care delivered to adolescents in hospital.

Methods: A conceptual framework was developed from the following four elements: (1) a review of the evidence around what young people perceive as "adolescent-friendly" health care; (2) an exploration with adolescent patients of the principles of patient-centered care; (3) a scoping review to identify core clinical practices around working with adolescents; and (4) a scoping review of existing conceptual frameworks. Using criteria for indicator development, we then developed a set of indicators that mapped to this framework.

Results: Embedded within the notion of patient- and family-centered care, the conceptual framework for adolescent-friendly health care (quality health care for adolescents) was based on the constructs of experience of care (positive engagement with health care) and evidence-informed care. A set of 14 indicators was developed, half of which related to adolescents' and parents' experience of care and half of which related to aspects of evidence-informed care.

Conclusions: The conceptual framework and indicators of quality health care for adolescents set the stage to develop measures to populate these indicators, the next step in the agenda of improving the quality of health care delivered to adolescents in hospital settings.

Keywords: Adolescent-friendly health care; Adolescents; Experience of care; Indicators; Parents; Patient- and family-centered care; Quality health care; Youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • Quality of Health Care*