The European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP) is the body of the UEMS (European Union of Medical specialists) which strives to promote the health of children and adolescents in Europe; one of its main mission is to secure adequate training of paediatric specialists. Around five years ago, the EAP has established a new strategic advisory group on adolescent medicine and health whose mission is to support initiatives in the field in setting up training initiatives and publishing recommendations for the health care of young people. There are many reasons that have led to the decision to have this advisory group.
- While most adolescents – defined as individuals aged 10 to 19 years – usually enjoy a good health, a substantial proportion are affected by diseases and health problems with potential long-term consequences.
- There is currently a growing awareness that health care professionals, namely paediatricians and GPs must acquire specific knowledge and skills, such as effective communication skills and a capacity to provide support and counselling in an appropriate way.
- Adolescents represent a growing part of the patients seen by paediatricians working in ambulatory care or in hospitals, and these patients often bring complex bio psychosocial issues such as chronic disorders or the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles.