HEEADSSS 3.0 interview for adolescents

The HEEADSSS psychosocial interview helps pediatricians evaluate how their teenaged patients are coping with the pressures of daily living, especially in the context of electronic and social media.

It focuses on assessment of the home environment, education and employment, eating, peer-related activities, engagement with drugs, sexuality, as well as mental health and safety. 

Building rapport

Starting the interview with a conversation about the patient’s hobbies or current events may help to ease anxiety, foster rapport and trust, and encourage disclosure.

“To help me get to know you, tell me something about yourself that makes you proud” or “Tell me how your friends describe you.”

Although teenagers typically feel comfortable progressing in the order of the acronym, be aware of previous interactions that would modify your approach.

For example, the home environment may be much more stressful to some adolescents than any issues they may have about sexuality.

Remember to search for the patient’s strengths because positive attributes suggest the presence of resilience, and you can utilise this throughout the rest of the visit.

Last updated Tuesday 28th November 2023