Introduction

Adolescence constitutes a time when health care professionals do not deal directly with adults, the latter whom share relatively similar describe views of social values and norms, acknowledging cultural differences. Furthermore, communication styles between serial visits with the same adolescent may vary considerably as the young person moves through the various stages of adolescent development. Communication strategies appropriate to pediatric or adult settings may not be effective in adolescent settings, and a different range of skills is required to create the listening culture so vital for this age group, who are the adults of the future. This chapter considers the characteristics of adolescent-friendly rheumatology services, discusses the principles of interviewing, and outlines useful communication strategies in clinical practice. Specific issues with respect to communication with parents are further discussed in Chapter 14.

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