Adolescent male health.

Abstract

Although adolescent males have as many health issues and concerns as adolescent females, they are much less likely to be seen in a clinical setting. This is related to both individual factors and the health care system itself, which is not always encouraging and set up to provide comprehensive male health care. Working with adolescent boys involves gaining the knowledge and skills to address concerns such as puberty and sexuality, substance use, violence, risk-taking behaviours and mental health issues. The ability to engage the young male patient is critical, and the professional must be comfortable in initiating conversation about a wide array of topics with the teen boy, who may be reluctant to discuss his concerns. It is important to take every opportunity with adolescent boys to talk about issues beyond the presenting complain, and let them know about confidential care. The physician can educate teens about the importance of regular checkups, and that they are welcome to contact the physician if they are experiencing any concerns about their health or well-being. Parents of preadolescent and adolescent boys should be educated on the value of regular health maintenance visits for their sons beginning in their early teen years.

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