Rebate Adolescent Health (RAd Health)
Looking for the RAd Health Study website (for participants)? Click here: https://radhealth.org.au/
Should Medicare fund a rebate for an adolescent and young person’s (15-24 years) health assessment in general practice?
RAd Health is a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) that aims to investigate whether a Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebate is effective at increasing the detection and management of risk behaviours and health conditions and is cost-effective. This will provide evidence to inform MBS rebate decision making.
Adolescent health checks have demonstrated improved health outcomes including detection of risky behaviour and physical and mental health conditions. Despite national guidelines recommending annual evidence-based health checks for young people, adolescents remain a neglected population. The implications for young people include undetected sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, and lack of management for mental health and other conditions. In Australia, lack of consultation time has been reported as a major barrier for general practitioners to undertake regular young person’s checks.
A Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) rebated health assessment, similar to that offered for 45-49 and 75+ year old and Aboriginal Health Checks, could facilitate these assessments. Enabling a longer, remunerated consultation for adolescents and young people could lead to improved health outcomes in the short-term and into adulthood. This trial will provide the first RCT evidence of whether a rebate for a young person’s health assessment is effective and cost-effective.
To date, we have received approval from the University of Melbourne HREC to conduct study activities, including focus groups and interviews with key informants. These were conducted to discuss how the intervention might work in general practice and to ensure that key stakeholders (practice staff and young people) had input into study and resource design.
We have also worked with the GRHANITe™ team at the University of Melbourne to design a data collection process and template for conducting the trial in general practices.
An Advisory Group was established to support the RAd Health Trial and its purpose is to:
- provide feedback, expert advice and input on clinical training and support needed for the trial and trial resources;
- provide current knowledge, expert advice and perspectives about adolescent health assessments in general practice;
- assist with the interpretation and translation of results into practice and policy, and
- build collaborative relationships between researchers and key stakeholders.
Thank you to all who have participated in the project thus far.
RAd Health Website:
If you have any questions about the trial or are interested in participating, please send us an email at email@example.com
Professor George Paton
Professor Rachel Skinner
Ms Rebecca Guy
Research Officer: Ms Sara Newton
Research Officer: Ms Amelia Wardley
Project manager: Dr Cathy Watson
National Health and Medical Research Council
Grant number: 1184842 | Funding period: 2020 – 2024
HREC ID 2022-23435-29990-3
Forthcoming: 'Considerations for conducting a young person’s health assessment in the GP setting: Insights from key informants in Victoria’, The Australian Journal of General Practice
August 2022: ‘Practice and patient considerations for conducting a young person’s health check in general practice: Insights from key informants’, Australasian Association for Academic Primary Care (AAAAPC) Annual Research Conference; oral presentation
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