CDC Reports: 90% of ADULTS Have Difficulty Following Routine Medical Advice

October 5, 2011
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So if that’s the case, how on earth are adolescents able to take in advice given to them during a medical visit? How are they going to be able to negotiate the intricacies of starting a birth control method? The answer is…they often don’t.

 

 

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So if that’s the case, how on earth are adolescents able to take in advice given to them during a medical visit? How are they going to be able to negotiate the intricacies of starting a birth control method? The answer is…they often don’t.

 

 

Image

 

Two-thirds of births to females less than 18yo are unintended. Although the teenage birth rate has declined since 1991 and continues on a downward trend, the US still has the highest rate compared to Canada, where the teen birth rate is a third of the US and European countries being less than one fifth of the US rate. Teen child bearing has adverse consequences for mothers and their children as well as imposing huge public sector costs.

 

Studies also show that birth control use in the US has increased amongst teenage adolescents (data from the National Survey of Family Growth). Still, despite this, we still top the teen birth rate. 

 

Sadly, it comes back to education (or lack of it) in our schools. Many patients tell me that they only learnt about HIV in ‘Health Ed’ and only a handful can claim to have had any education or information given to them about birth control.

 

From the first days of working in adolescent medicine, it was very apparent that our patients could not handle the amount of information we were giving to them. I always make a point of asking a patient to repeat instructions about how to use a birth control method back to me. It never fails to amaze me just how many of them find this so difficult. I’ve tried numerous ways of delivering the information; diagrams, demonstrations, using different language. Whatever I try, it still is problematic. And this was where Text in the City evolved. I wanted to give these patients the ability to clarify what I had said to them; to ‘just check’ if they were doing it right; to see if how they were feeling since starting a method was ‘normal’ or not. I hope it goes some way towards doing this.

 

So if the CDC is reporting facts about patient education like these above, we need to be thinking of more innovative, cost effective ways of ‘joining-the-dots’ for both adult and adolescent patients and, importantly, we need to be showing that they work.

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