A second ‘E’ will be added to address issues of eating and nutrition.Sample questions that may help health care providers with this task have been provided in Table 1.A nationwide survey conducted in 2005 revealed that 94% of Canadian youth have Internet access in their home, up from 79% in 2001 (1).
It is hoped that the information presented will serve to both educate providers about the diversity of information available online and help engage adolescent patients in these challenging areas.
The HEADSS acronym will be divided into individual sections, with individual discussions on Internet use as it applies to adolescent life.
A companion parent's information sheet has also been provided (Table 2).
Although adolescents are prone to log on to the Internet whenever connections are available, most frequently they do so from the comfort of their own homes.
Given the ease of transfer of information online (ie, copy and paste), teenagers need to be educated about copyright laws and the risks associated with such infringement.
A survey completed in 2001 revealed that 18% of high school students surveyed admitted to knowing someone that had used the Internet to cheat on a paper or test (5).
It can be difficult to appreciate all of the issues adolescent patients face.
The HEADSS (Home, Education, Activities, Drugs, Sex and sexuality, and Suicide and mood) interviewing strategy enables health care providers to explore psychosocial parameters and identify specific risk and protective factors in adolescents (2).
In a recent cross-sectional study (4) examining adolescents' self-report on Internet safety, 25% of respondents reported unsafe experiences online.