Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Opportunistic adolescent health screening of surgical inpatients
  1. Hayden Wilson1,
  2. Nancy Bostock1,
  3. Nicola Phillip1,
  4. Penny Shannon1,
  5. Donald Payne2,
  6. Andrew Kennedy1
  1. 1Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth, Australia
  2. 2School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew Kennedy, Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Princess Margaret Hospital, Roberts Road, Subiaco WA 6008, Australia; andrew.kennedy{at}


Purpose Opportunistic health screening has long been promoted by advocates of adolescent health. However, there are few objective data documenting the outcomes in an inpatient setting.

Methods The authors performed opportunistic health screening on 114 surgical inpatients, median age 14 (range 10–18) years, admitted to a general adolescent ward in a tertiary children's hospital. A four-page paper document with a formatted list of questions, based on the Home, Education, Activities, Drugs, Sexual Health, Suicide framework, was developed to standardise screening and documentation.

Results Areas of concern requiring intervention were identified in 34 (30%) patients. Specific interventions included referrals to the Adolescent Medicine clinic (n=6), Hospital School Services (n=7) and Psychological Medicine (n=7).

Conclusions Consideration should be given to offer adolescent health screening to all surgical inpatients. Further research should involve the participation of young people and should focus on the outcomes, feasibility, acceptability and resource implications of such screening.

Statistics from


  • Collaborators Sam Fazio.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was granted by the Princess Margaret Hospital Ethics Committee, ref 375QP.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.