Adolescent History Training Module

Publication ID Published Version
1066 August 24, 2009 1


The session is designed to familiarize the medical student with the special needs and issues of the adolescent patient. It is designed to introduce the medical student to the specific components of the adolescent expanded social history. The session emphasizes a combination of didactic and experiential learning and is broken into two parts. The first section consists of a one hour didactic lecture discussing the needs of the adolescent patient, the importance of addressing the health needs of adolescents, and important procedural items such as assuring confidentiality and a level of autonomy. In addition, the types of questions in the expanded social history (HEADSS) Home Education Activities Drugs Sexual Activity/Suicidality that should be asked during a clinical visit are addressed. Following the lecture the students report to the Clinical Skills Assessment Program section (CSAP) for their standardized patient interaction. Student pairs interview an adolescent using the Structured Communication Adolescent Guide (SCAG) [Dr. Kim Blake is the original author and it was used with her permission]. One student is responsible for conducting the interview (20 minutes) while the second student is responsible for observing the interaction and giving feedback along with the adolescent patient instructor (out of character) at the end of the session (10 minutes). The second student can then be the primary interviewer if there are enough adolescent instructors/time available. The encounters are observed by faculty via remote video and there is time set aside for students to debrief with faculty at the end of the session in a small group setting. Students have a one hour didactic lecture discussing the needs of the adolescent patient.


Alerte A, Kosowicz L, Brown S, Lewis J. Adolescent History Training Module. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2009. Available from:

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to learn and apply effective techniques for interviewing adolescents about risk taking behaviors.
  2. To become more comfortable with counseling of adolescents.
  3. To be able to practice the skills of obtaining sensitive history from and counseling adolescents.


  • Interview (MeSH), Confidentiality (MeSH), Social History, Teens, Interviewing, Drugs, Sexual Activity, Suicide, HEADSS


  • Medical
    • Family Medicine
      • Adolescent Medicine


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Professionalism

Professional Interest

  • Physician-Patient Relationship

Instructional Methods

  • Lecture

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Psychology/Behavioral Science
    • Sociology
  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Resident


  • Presentation

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