Children's Hospital Colorado

HEEADSSS Assessment within Primary Care (S5:E35)

As a pediatrician, screening and treating your patients’ physical health problems can be straightforward. But what about other medical conditions that are not as obvious?

Important conversations with adolescent patients can be challenging, but with a little guidance, pediatricians can feel equipped to ask their teens about sex, sexuality, gender and sexual abuse — all in just 3 minutes.

Listen to pediatric experts discuss the importance of the HEEADSSS framework

In this episode, Samantha Hill, MD, joins us to discuss the importance and practicality of the HEEADSSS (home, education/employment, eating, activities, drugs, sexuality, suicide/depression and safety) framework and how to conduct an effective, trauma-sensitive and time-efficient exam.

Dr. Hill works at the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the Division of Adolescent Medicine.

In this episode, our experts discuss:

  • An overview of the HEEADSSS framework
  • Conversation starters and threads for addressing the topic areas
  • How to create a safe, confidential space for the assessment
  • Strategies for being transparent about caveats and how to include parents/guardians
  • Conducting risk assessments during conversations

Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.