Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

"Youth friendly" clinics: considerations for linking and engaging HIV-infected adolescents into care

Title"Youth friendly" clinics: considerations for linking and engaging HIV-infected adolescents into care
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsTanner, AE, Philbin, MM, Duval, A, Ellen, J, Kapogiannis, B, Fortenberry, JD, Adolescent Trials Network for, AIHIV
JournalAIDS Care
Date PublishedFeb
ISBN Number1360-0451 (Electronic)0954-0121 (Linking)
Accession Number23782040
Keywords*Adolescent Behavior, *Adolescent Health Services/organization & administration, *Social Environment, Adolescent, Continuity of Patient Care, Delivery of Health Care/*organization & administration, Female, Health Services Accessibility, Health Services Needs and Demand, HIV Seropositivity/epidemiology/psychology/*therapy, Humans, Male, Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology/*statistics & numerical data, United States/epidemiology, Young Adult

Linkage and engagement in care are critical corollaries to the health of HIV-infected adolescents. The adolescent HIV epidemic and adolescents' unique barriers to care necessitates innovation in the provision of care, including the consideration of the clinical experience. Little research has addressed how "youth friendly" clinics may influence care retention for HIV-infected youth. We conducted 124 interviews with providers, outreach workers, and case managers, at 15 Adolescent Medicine Trials Network clinics. Photographs of each clinic documented the characteristics of the physical space. Constant comparison and content and visual narrative methods were utilized for data analysis. Three elements of youth friendliness were identified for clinics serving HIV-infected youth, including: (1) role of target population (e.g., pediatric, adolescent, HIV); (2) clinics' physical environment; and (3) clinics' social environment. Working to create 'youth friendly' clinics through changes in physical (e.g., space, entertainment, and educational materials) and social (e.g., staff training related to development, gender, sexual orientation) environments may help reduce HIV-infected adolescents' unique barriers to care engagement. The integration of clinic design and staff training within the organization of a clinical program is helpful in meeting the specialized needs of HIV-infected youth.