Determinants of Quality of Healthcare for Adolescents and Young Adults
Adolescents and young adults are a dynamic population with unique healthcare needs. Although adolescents/young adults have demographic and cultural differences, prioritizing their healthcare needs is important to ensure their future wellbeing. However, there is variation within and across healthcare systems in the level of care provided for this population, and their healthcare needs may be overlooked. Definitions of quality healthcare for adolescents/young adults include consideration of factors such as evidence-based services, improved patient outcomes, and whether available services meet patients’ expectations. Important considerations in providing quality healthcare for adolescents/young adults include acknowledging the interrelationships among different aspects of healthcare and the role of other domains (e.g., education) and considering patient-oriented perspectives. Quality healthcare also includes the safety, effectiveness, efficiency, and timeliness of care, along with consideration of equity/accessibility across population subgroups and ensuring services are responsive, respectful, and coordinated. Determinants of quality healthcare for adolescents/young adults are influenced by various factors, including their age, developmental characteristics, family influences, social networks, and the customs and norms of their communities. System-level factors (e.g., service organization, funding, and costs) also impact adolescents’ and young adults’ access to services. In addition, some groups of adolescents/young adults, such as those with chronic long-term conditions, have specific needs that impact the quality of care available to them. For this group, high-quality healthcare services are necessary to support transitions within and between services and develop self-management. Effective services for adolescents/young adults (including those with long-term conditions) depend on their authentic involvement in the development, implementation, and evaluation of services. Measuring the quality of healthcare for adolescents/young adults is important to evaluate and monitor existing services, drive quality improvement, and inform future services. Understanding the elements of quality healthcare for adolescents/young adults is important for healthcare professionals who intend to engage in related areas of practice.
KeywordsAdolescent health care Adolescence Young adults Determinants of quality Transition care
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