Health and Disease in Adolescence

Authors: Nicola Reavley, George Patton, Susan Sawyer, Elissa Kennedy, Peter Azzopardi

Because the social and environmental determinants of health among adolescents and young adults vary widely, intersectoral and multicomponent interventions offer the best opportunity to improve adolescent health, such as school- and health-service-based interventions to prevent early marriage and pregnancy, which prove more likely to succeed if accompanied by interventions generating community support, such as public hearings, meetings, and fairs. With the exception of sexual and reproductive health, available evidence mostly comes from high-income countries (HICs), particularly the United States, leaving implementation in other countries, especially low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), uncertain. As effective interventions will only have benefits if widely implemented, local contexts, including culture, beliefs, knowledge, lifestyles, and health systems, must receive consideration. Effective implementation and scale up require a systematic approach to addressing these factors and to achieving a balance between desired outcomes and implementation constraints. It also requires involving all stakeholders and engaging existing system capacities, wherever possible. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of interventions in different contexts remain critical to building the evidence base.