Article| Volume 28, ISSUE 6, P534-540, November 2014

Rural Adolescents' Access to Adolescent Friendly Health Services



      The purpose of this study was to assess rural North Dakota adolescents' experiences in accessing adolescent-friendly health services and to examine the relationship between rural adolescents' communication with health care providers and risk behaviors.


      Data are from the Rural Adolescent Health Survey (RAHS), an anonymous survey of 14- to 19-year-olds (n = 322) attending secondary schools in four frontier counties of North Dakota. Descriptive statistics were used to assess participants' access to adolescent-friendly health services characterized as accessible, acceptable, and appropriate. Logistic regressions were used to examine whether participant-reported risk behaviors predicted communication with health care providers about individual health risk behaviors.


      Rural adolescents reported high access to acceptable primary health care services but low levels of effective health care services. Participant report of engaging in high-risk behaviors was associated with having received information from health care providers about the leading causes of morbidity and mortality.


      These findings reveal missed opportunities for primary care providers in rural settings to provide fundamental health promotion to adolescents.

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      Molly A. Secor-Turner, Assistant Professor, Departments of Nursing and Public Health, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.


      Brandy A. Randall, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate School, Department of Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.


      Alison L. Brennan, Graduate Student, Department of Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.


      Melinda K. Anderson, Doctor of Nurse Practitioners and Family Nurse Practitioner, Sanford Health, Perham, MN.


      Dean A. Gross, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.