Urban Adolescents: What Are Their Health Needs?


  • Pamela K. Pletsch Ph.D., R.N.,

  • Linda A. Leslie R.N., F.N.P., M.S.

Address correspondence to Pamela K. Pletsch, P.O. Box 413, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI53201.


Abstract A health needs assessment of inner-city, low-income adolescents was conducted by the staff of a nurse-managed, community-oriented primary care clinic. A multiethnic sample of 568 high school students was studied. The findings indicated that the most commonly used source of health care was the family doctor. Barriers to receiving care were fear and costs. Subjects reported insufficient knowledge about many health-related topics, and desired services in the areas of drug and substance use, reproduction and sexuality, family relations, mental health, and dental health. Eighty-four percent of the subjects were interested in using the services of a neighborhood clinic specifically for teens. Survey results were used for decision making, program planning, and implementation of a teen health clinic.