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Teens' Perspectives on Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing School-based Clinics

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Objective: This qualitative study explores teens' perspectives on facilitators and barriers to accessing school-based clinics, emphasizing the importance of youth self-report. Methods: We conducted in-person interviews with teens (N = 25) at 2 high schools that had school-based clinics in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). We supplemented the interviews with a brief questionnaire administered to a sample of teens at both schools (N = 105). Data were iteratively coded and analyzed using NVivo. Results: Teens framed 5 clinic attributes that facilitated access: confidential, welcoming, judgment-free, validating and understanding, and fast/easy/convenient. Teens identified judgment from peers, fear and anxiety, hours/wait times, lack of privacy, and teens who gather at the clinic to socialize as factors that made the clinic hard to access or inhibited access entirely. Conclusions: School-based clinics were highly regarded by teens who used them. The most important factors underlying ease of use were assurance of confidentiality and a positive client-provider relationship that made teens feel safe and comfortable. However, considerable individual and structural barriers remain to ensuring the clinics are teen-friendly and accessible.
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Keywords: ADOLESCENT HEALTH; HEALTHCARE ACCESS; SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICES; SCHOOL-BASED CLINIC

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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