Diminished Trust of Healthcare Providers, Risky Lifestyle Behaviors, and Low Use of Health Services: A Descriptive Study of Rural Adolescents

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The purpose of our study was to determine the extent to which individual characteristic variables predict trust of healthcare provider (HCP), lifestyle behaviors, and use of health services among adolescents attending public high school in rural Indiana. The sample included 224 individuals surveyed in 9th grade or 12th grade required courses. Trust of HCP and lifestyle behaviors were predicted using hierarchical multiple regression; number of HCP visits and emergency department (ED) visits in the past 12 months were predicted using negative binomial regression. This sample of adolescents living in a rural area reported riskier lifestyle behaviors than another sample of adolescents, lower trust of HCP than adults in general, and fewer HCP and ED visits than adolescents in general. Our study supports the need for school-based health services in rural areas and the opportunity for school nurses to act as care coordinators for marginalized youth.



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