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February 1997

GAPS (AMA Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services)Where Are the Gaps?

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(2):123-128. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170390013002

The AMA Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services (GAPS): Recommendations and Rationale1 is a major breakthrough in the evolution of preventive health services in general and of adolescent preventive services in particular. GAPS is a comprehensive guide for adolescent health professionals that contains several pioneering elements. These elements include (1) providing a framework for the organization and content of "well-adolescent care," (2) offering guidance for parents and families as an essential part of adolescent health care, and (3) dealing with a wide range of adolescent health problems, with an appropriate focus on the behavioral, emotional, and developmental aspects.

GAPS expands the scope of issues and the depth of previous works. Some of these previous works have dealt with screening issues only2 or have discussed adolescent health care as a minor part of preventive services for all age groups.3GAPS is a comprehensive work that provides a critical overview

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