Introduction

The needs of adolescents require specific consideration by health care professionals. As outlined in the preceding chapters of this book, there are many aspects of health that are of particular importance in adolescence. In addition, young people today face issues and dangers that are more complex than in previous generations, often with less support. It is also a time in life that future behaviors are developed that can form the basis for lifelong conduct. Therefore with respect to health-related behavior, it is an ideal time to effectively promote and encourage positive practices and attitudes towards health for the future.

To be able to interact effectively with a young person when in a perceived position of authority requires particular skills and also awareness of the issues that are important to and affect the age group. During health care professional training, attention to these themes is certainly apparent for pediatrics and adult care specialties such as the care of the elderly. However, attention to the required skills and knowledge for effective and successful adolescent care has been lacking until relatively recently.

This chapter aims to outline the training needs of rheumatology health professionals for effective adolescent care and will summarize the evidence supporting this need, including regarding what is required to promote good practice in adolescent health care.

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