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Adolescents have some of the highest rates of risk behaviors of all age groups and health behaviors developed in adolescence can persist into adulthood. These behaviors carry significant risks for subsequent disease, disability, and healthcare burden. Despite these risks, health risk screening in primary care is infrequently performed and results are rarely followed by targeted intervention. In response to the need for screening-linked interventions, our study team has developed a web-based, electronic Personalized Motivational Feedback tool which we refer to as “Check Yourself.” Based on motivational interviewing, a technique to mobilize personal change, Check Yourself is designed to promote healthy choices for the multiple behaviors relevant to adolescents as well as to provide information to providers to promote discussions around health behaviors between providers and adolescents.

Building on electronic health interventions, primary care providers can play an essential role in helping adolescents to make healthy behavior choices. Emerging evidence suggests that the consistency of preventive counseling can be increased through provider training and the provision of screening tools; yet, we know very little about the quality of such counseling, and if it impacts outcomes that are important to adolescent patients themselves.

This study is a stepped-wedge, controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of an interactive adolescent-centered training for primary care providers (I-ACT) and Check Yourself to usual care. This study will take place in six pediatric practices. The purpose of this study is to determine whether this system of interventions (i.e., I-ACT, Check Yourself, and the summary report) is more effective than usual care in reducing health risk behaviors, improving adolescent motivation for health, and improving quality of care among adolescents receiving primary health care services.