Cultural sensitivity in providing reproductive care to adolescents

Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2004 Oct; (16)5:367-370

Cultural sensitivity in providing reproductive care to adolescents

Omar, Hatim; Richard, Jessica


Purpose of review: To provide an exploration of the global attitudes towards reproductive healthcare by adolescent patients, and to review key points in promoting healthy sexual development among adolescents and appropriate guidelines for communicating within the adolescent population.

Recent findings: The adolescent’s perception of healthcare providers and communication with adolescents are inextricably intertwined, hence the need to address both topics. In addition, we will briefly examine the topic of female circumcision and its impact on women’s sexuality. It is necessary to approach this subject because of the increase in the number of individuals that emigrate each year to the United States and Canada from countries that still practise female circumcision. Providing reproductive care for these women has considerable implications for gynecologists and other healthcare providers dealing with reproductive care issues.

Summary: Healthcare providers who are aware of adolescent patients’ developmental stage and cultural diversity are more able to gain the trust of their patients, and consequently are more effective at addressing their needs.

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