Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
PORTERO LOPEZ, Paloma; CIRNE LIMA, Roberta and MATHIEU, Gladys. Measures aimed at teenagers and young adults related to health promotion and prevention in the community of Madrid, Spain . Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2002, vol.76, n.5, pp. 577-584. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272002000500017.
Background: Over at least the past ten years, measures aimed at health promotion and prevention among young adults and teenagers have been being implemented from different public institutions and, in a certain sense, on a sectorial basis. The overall objective is to assess how the different measures carried out by different Public Institutions with regard to Health Promotion and Prevention have an impact on the actual conduct and practices of teenagers and young adults within the 14-25 age range in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. Methods: A study based on a structural or qualitative methodology was conducted using the discussion group method, eight groups having been formed and their comments analyzed. Results: The young adults do not feel any health-related prevention "system" as such exists on not considering themselves to be the object thereof. In the opinion of the young adults, disease, confined to the physical body, is conceived as being a short-lived, temporary and readily remedied based on the technological advances current medicine has to offer. On the contrary, the diseases related to the psychological perspective (mental disease dissociated with the area of the medical and connected to the individual/personal area) arouse interest insomuch as young people are highly vulnerable to these diseases. Conclusions: Any measure aimed at generating identification and, therefore, the active response of young people must entail creating a connection between young people and health, which, not based exclusively in providing information, is capable of putting a space of control of the youths with regard to their harmful practices into play whilst at the same time highlighting their taking responsibility for their own actions. Considering we believe it best to "redefine" the term "prevention" in terms nearer to those of maintaining, improving or regaining (in short-lived cases) health, to thus connote the idea of physical and mental well-being.
Keywords : Adolescence; Health promotion; Qualitative research; Perception of health.