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Engaging with pre-teens and their parents in primary care
  1. Shantha Tyler, MBBS, FP Cert, General Practitioner,
  2. Carolyn Mayhew-Stokes, RGN, RHV, Health Visitor and
  3. Elizabeth Jackson, SRN, RCN Dip Sexual Health, Practice Nurse
  1. Calow and Brimington Practice, Brimington Medical Centre, Brimington, Chesterfield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shantha Tyler, Calow and Brimington Practice, Brimington Medical Centre, Foljambe Road, Brimington, Chesterfield S43 1DD, UK. E-mail: shantha.tyler{at}nhs.net

Abstract

Objective To encourage young people to think about health, including sexual health, and access primary care appropriately and confidently.

Concept To engage with young people before they become teenagers. This is a single introductory session for 10-year-olds with their parents. The partly structured evening is held in the surgery after it closes for other business. It includes discussion about puberty, relationships and any other health matters raised by the participants. There is an introduction to the idea of patient confidentiality.

Results About one-third of the invited 10-year-olds attended. Separating the genders improved attendance. Feedback suggested that young people increased their knowledge of puberty. They were more confident approaching health care staff for sexual health advice at the dedicated Young Person's Clinic or at normal surgery. Parents reported that their children talked more openly about relationships and sex following the session.

Conclusion A dedicated evening for pre-teens with their parents is worthwhile in primary care.

  • confidentiality
  • pre-teens
  • primary care
  • puberty
  • Accepted June 7, 2008.

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