Do European Union countries adequately address the healthcare needs of adolescents in the area of sexual reproductive health and rights?

Michaud, P-A., Visser, A., Vervoort, H., Kocken, P., Reijneveld, M., Blair, M., Alexander, D., Rigby, M., Weber, M. A. & Jansen, D., 16-Dec-2019, In : Archives of Disease in Childhood. 105, 1, p. 40-46 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Background and objectives Adolescent sexual
and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are of
particular relevance given their potential short-term or
long-term health consequences. This study evaluates
recommendations and policies regarding access to care
in this area in 31 European countries (European Union
(EU) plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland).
Methods As part of the EU funded Models of Child
Health Appraised project, data were gathered using a
43-item questionnaire sent to experts responsible for
collecting information in each country.
Results Ten countries have not developed any formal
policy or recommendation that guarantee the respect
of confidentiality and the possibility of consulting a
physician without parents knowing. Nearly half of the
countries do not have centres specialised in adolescent
healthcare, tackling comprehensive health issues or
focusing specifically on SRH. Access to emergency
contraception and information regarding pregnancy,
including testing, is easy in most countries. However,
oral contraception is delivered free of charge in only 10
countries. Twenty-three countries do not meet current
standards in terms of providing policy-based pregnancy
care, and only 13 have set up special programmes
for pregnant adolescents. In only seven countries can
adolescents definitely have their pregnancy terminated
without their parents knowing (and in another seven
countries in selected situations).
Conclusion The provision and availability of
adolescent-friendly SRHR care are far from optimal in
around half of the surveyed countries. These results call
for the review and implementation of policies, specialised
healthcare centres and training initiatives for primary
care providers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number1
Early online date3-Jul-2019
Publication statusPublished - 16-Dec-2019

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