Comparison of healthcare priorities in childhood and early/late adolescence: analysis of cross-sectional data from eight countries in the Council of Europe Child-friendly Healthcare Survey, 2011

Child Care Health Dev. 2015 Jan;41(1):160-5. doi: 10.1111/cch.12169. Epub 2014 Jun 25.


Aims: To investigate healthcare priorities among children (≤ 12 years), early adolescents (13-15 years) and late adolescents (16-18 years).

Methods: A total of 2023 respondents from eight European countries rated the importance of nine healthcare factors. The relative importance of these factors was compared within and between age groups, using mean score differences and logistic regression.

Results: The most important item for all age groups was being listened to. Children rated pain control and the presence of parents more important than either understanding the doctor or being able to ask questions. Among adolescents, these differences disappeared for pain control and were reversed for parental presence. The changes in relative priorities between childhood and adolescence remained significant after adjusting for sex, long-standing illness and nationality (all P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Healthcare priorities evolve significantly between childhood and early adolescence. However, being listened to is the most important priority at all ages.

Keywords: adolescence; children's views; health services research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / standards*
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Patient Preference*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires