Putting RAAPS into Practice: Primary Care Setting

The next series of posts will feature ways that providers across the country use RAAPS.

“Sam,” age 17, presents for an annual asthma checkup. He arrives with his mother and greets the receptionist, who invites him to wait in the teen area of the waiting room. As he browses through brochures and magazines geared toward teens, a medical assistant approaches Sam and offers him the RAAPS survey on a handheld computer. Sam is led to an area with a privacy screen and the medical assistant explains confidentiality laws and corresponding instructions. She finishes by asking Sam to honestly answer each question as it appears on the computer.

Sam completes the RAAPS survey and hands the computer to the receptionist. Soon a staff member comes into the waiting area and calls Sam’s name. She asks Sam’s mother to stay in the waiting room for the first part of Sam’s visits, and she escorts Sam to the examination room.

The health provider (HP) enters the exam room with Sam’s completed RAAP on her computer. She explains to Sam that she is interested in his physical and mental well being, and that the survey offers a tool for discussing all aspects of his current health. The HP invites Sam to discuss any other concerns he may have in addition to his asthma.

In a short time frame, the HP is able to briefly review each risk behavior Sam has identified in the survey. She learns that Sam has been sexually active for 1 year, and that he has used condoms inconsistently. She counsels Sam about safer sex behaviors and develops an action plan for limiting sexual partners and consistently using condoms. The HP also discusses testing for sexually transmitted infections, and Sam considers this for a future appointment.

Sam also identifies feelings of sadness. He shares that he feels sad 2 to 3 days per week and relates these feelings to friends and school pressures. He is concerned about getting into the “right” college. Sam reports no past or current suicidal ideation.

The HP counsels Sam about ways to improve his mood through journaling and exercise. She also gives him a teen-specific resource card with community resource information.

The HP then asks Sam’s mother to join them in the exam room. The remainder of the visit is directed toward the assessment and management of Sam’s asthma. The HP ends the visit by encouraging open communication between Sam and his parents.

 Learn more about RAAPS by checking out our website: www.raaps.org.  Check out our previous posts about the research behind the RAAPS questions.  If you have any questions, please contact us for more information.

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