Publications & Reports

A scoping review of adolescent health indicators.

Newby H, Marsh AD, Moller AB, Adebayo E, Azzopardi PS, Carvajal L, Fagan L, Friedman HS, Ba MG, Hagell A, Morgan A, Saewyc E, Guthold R
Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing Department, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.


PURPOSE: A host of recent initiatives relating to adolescent health have been accompanied by varying indicator recommendations, with little stakeholder coordination. We assessed currently included adolescent health-related indicators for their measurement focus, identified overlap across initiatives, and determined measurement gaps. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review to map the existing indicator landscape as depicted by major measurement initiatives. We classified indicators as per 33 previously identified core adolescent health measurement areas across five domains and by age groups. We also identified indicators common across measurement initiatives even if differing in details. RESULTS: We identified 413 indicators across 16 measurement initiatives, with most measuring health outcomes and conditions (162 [39%]) and health behaviors and risks (136 [33%]); followed by policies, programs, and laws (49 [12%]); health determinants (44 [11%]); and system performance and interventions (22 [5%]). Age specification was available for 221 (54%) indicators, with 51 (23%) focusing on the full adolescent age range (10-19 years), 1 (<1%) on 10-14 years, 27 (12%) on 15-19 years, and 142 (64%) on a broader age range including adolescents. No definitional information, such as numerator and denominator, was available for 138 indicators. We identified 236 distinct indicators after accounting for overlap. CONCLUSION: The adolescent health measurement landscape is vast and includes substantial variation among indicators purportedly assessing the same concept. Gaps persist in measuring systems performance and interventions; policies, programs, and laws; and younger adolescents' health. Addressing these gaps and harmonizing measurement is fundamental to improve program implementation and accountability for adolescent health globally.

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  • Journal: The Journal of Adolescent Health
  • Published: 13/07/2021
  • Volume: 69
  • Issue: 3
  • Pagination: 365-374