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Primary care services provided to adolescents in detention: a cross-sectional study using ICPC-2

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Abstract Aim: 

The aim of this study was to provide a detailed description of the health problems for which primary care services are provided to adolescents in a juvenile detention facility in Europe. Methods: 

We reviewed the medical files of all detainees in a juvenile detention centre in Switzerland in 2007. The health problems for which primary care services were provided were coded using the International Classification for Primary Care, version 2. Analysis was descriptive, stratified by gender. Results: 

A total of 314 adolescents (18% female) aged 11–19 years were included. Most (89%) had a health assessment and 195 (62%) had consultations with a primary care physician; 80% of the latter had a physical health problem, and 60% had a mental health problem. The most commonly managed problems were skin (49.7%), respiratory (23.6%), behavioural (22.6%) and gynaecological problems (females: 23.9%); 13% females (no males) had sexually transmitted infections (STI), and 8.7% were pregnant. Substance abuse was common (tobacco: 64.6%, alcohol: 26.2%, cannabis: 31.3%). Conclusion: 

In addition to health problems known to be more prevalent among young offenders, such as mental health problems and STI, these adolescent detainees required care for a range of common primary care problems. These data should inform the development of comprehensive primary care services in all juvenile detention facilities in Europe.
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Keywords: Adolescent; Health services; Primary health care; Prisons

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Primary Care Practice, Thônex, Switzerland 2: Unit of Development and Research in Medical Education, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland 3: Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care, Geneva University Hospitals & University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland 4: Department of Psychiatry, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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