n South African Journal of Child Health - Current practice of adolescent preventive services among paediatric residents in Nigeria : research




There has been a growing recognition of the challenge of Nigerian adolescents' health issues and the need to address it. Adolescent preventive services (APS) constitute an effective mechanism to reduce adolescent morbidities.

To evaluate the current practice of APS among Nigerian paediatric residents.
For this cross-sectional survey, we designed an anonymous questionnaire based on Guidelines of APS of the American Medical Association to elicit information on residents' current practice regarding screening adolescents for specific morbidities.
A total of 103 residents participated in the study; nearly 60% were from federal teaching hospitals. The majority (78.6%) attended to adolescents at least once a week. In the last month, the adolescent medicine service most commonly provided by respondents was general health guidance (66.7%). Altogether, less than one-fifth of the residents have recently asked at least two specific questions to screen adolescents for eating disorders, violence, safety issues, depression, substance or sexual abuse. Senior registrars were more likely than registrars to screen adolescents for hypertension (75.0% v. 29.1%, =0.032), depression (50.0% v. 16.5%, =0.043) and abuse (62.5% v. 22.1%, =0.023). Also, residents with <5 years in practice were more likely to screen for relationship issues (=0.045).
The current level of practice of APS is low among paediatric residents in Nigeria. There is a need to restructure their ongoing practice and training to emphasise preventive paediatrics and other issues pertinent to adolescent care.


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