Priority Areas for Adolescent Health Measurement

Regina Guthold, Ann Beth Moller, Emmanuel Adebayo, Liliana Carvajal, Carolin Ekman, Lucy Fagan, Jane Ferguson, Howard S. Friedman, Mariame Guèye Ba, Ann Hagell, Kid Kohl, Peter S. Azzopardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We establish priority areas for adolescent health measurement and identify current gaps, aiming to focus resources on the most relevant data to improve adolescent health. Methods: We collected four critical inputs to inform priority setting: perspectives of youth representatives, country priorities, disease burden, and existing measurement efforts. Health areas identified from the inputs were grouped, mapped, and summarized according to their frequency in the inputs. Using a Delphi-like approach, international experts then selected core, expanded, and context-specific priority areas for adolescent health measurement from all health areas identified. Results: Across the four inputs, we identified 99 measurement areas relevant to adolescent health and grouped them under six domains: policies, programs, laws; systems performance and interventions; health determinants; health behaviors and risks; subjective well-being; and health outcomes and conditions. Areas most frequently occurring were mental health and weight status in youth representatives' opinions; sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in country policies and perspectives; road injury, self-harm, skin diseases, and mental disorders in the disease burden analysis; and adolescent fertility in measurement initiatives. Considering all four inputs, experts selected 33 core, 19 expanded, and 6 context-specific adolescent health measurement areas. Conclusion: The adolescent health measurement landscape is vast, covering a large variety of topics. The foci of the measurement initiatives we reviewed do not reflect the most important health areas according to youth representatives' or country-level perspectives, or the adolescent disease burden. Based on these inputs, we propose a set of priority areas to focus national and global adolescent health measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-898
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - May 2021


  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent health
  • Burden of disease
  • Delphi
  • Global health
  • Measurement
  • Priority setting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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