Searching for best practices of youth friendly services - a study protocol using qualitative comparative analysis in Sweden

Isabel Goicolea, Monica Christianson, Anna-Karin Hurtig, Bruno Marchal, Miguel San Sebastian, Maria Wiklund

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BACKGROUND: Swedish youth clinics constitute one of the most comprehensive and consolidated examples of a nationwide network of health care services for young people. However, studies evaluating their 'youth-friendliness' and the combination of factors that makes them more or less 'youth-friendly' have not been conducted. This protocol will scrutinise the current youth-friendliness of youth clinics in northern Sweden and identify the best combination of conditions needed in order to implement the criteria of youth-friendliness within Swedish youth clinics and elsewhere.

METHODS/DESIGN: In this study, we will use qualitative comparative analysis to analyse the conditions that are sufficient and/or necessary to implement Youth Friendly Health Services in 20 selected youth-clinics (cases). In order to conduct Qualitative Comparative Analysis, we will first identify the outcomes and the conditions to be assessed. The overall outcome - youth-friendliness - will be assessed together with specific outcomes for each of the five domains - accessible, acceptable, equitable, appropriate and effective. This will be done using a questionnaire to be applied to a sample of young people coming to the youth clinics. In terms of conditions, we will first identify what might be the key conditions, to ensure the youth friendliness of health care services, through literature review, interviews with professionals working at youth clinics, and with young people. The combination of conditions and outcomes will form the hypothesis to be further tested later on in the qualitative comparative analysis of the 20 cases. Once information on outcomes and conditions is gathered from each of the 20 clinics, it will be analysed using Qualitative Comparative Analysis.

DISCUSSION: The added value of this study in relation to the findings is twofold: on the one hand it will allow a thorough assessment of the youth-friendliness of northern Swedish youth clinics. On the other hand, it will extract lessons from one of the most consolidated examples of differentiated services for young people. Methodologically, this study can contribute to expanding the use of Qualitative Comparative Analysis in health systems research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number321
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care
  • Professional Practice
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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