Aim and objective. To describe and explore adolescents’ and nurses’ perceptions of using a health and lifestyle tool in health dialogues in the School Health Service.
Background. In Sweden, dialogues concerning health and lifestyle are offered to adolescents aged 14 years with the purpose of encouraging an interest in a healthy lifestyle. A health and lifestyle tool including a health questionnaire and a health profile has recently been developed, with the aim of facilitating the communication about health and lifestyle in these dialogues.
Design. Qualitative descriptive design.
Method. Twenty-nine adolescents and 23 nurses participated in focus group interviews, which were subjected to qualitative content analysis.
Results. The health and lifestyle tool was perceived as constituting a structure for the dialogues and as a clear and applicable starting point, focusing on individual aspects. The tool contributed to an understanding of the health situation and to the transmittal of health information on an individual as well as a group level.
Conclusion. The tool was perceived as constituting a useful structure for the dialogues about health and lifestyle. When it was used the individual’s health and lifestyle were concretised, which opened up for a dialogue and different aspects of health and lifestyle were detected. However, in some cases the outcome of the tool could be conceived as a stringent assessment and thereby complicate the dialogues.
Relevance to clinical practice. The use of a tool, such as the one used in this study, is one way to improve the dialogues in the School Health Service, allowing them to be more focused on the individual’s needs and to detect aspects that would otherwise not be so easily detected. The implications of this study include using the findings to guide counselling sessions in the schools and other health care settings.