Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young children who miss well-child visits are more likely to be hospitalized

Date:
May 24, 2013
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a new study.

Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Journal of Managed Care. The study included more than 20,000 children enrolled at Group Health Cooperative.

Related Articles


Children with chronic conditions like asthma and heart disease were even more likely to be hospitalized when they missed visits, according to the study. In fact, children with chronic conditions who missed more than half of the recommended well-child visits had more than three times the risk of being hospitalized compared to children with chronic conditions who attended most of their visits.

"Well-child visits are important because this is where children receive preventive immunizations and develop a relationship with their provider," says lead author Jeffrey Tom, MD, MS, an assistant investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Hawaii. "These visits allow providers to identify health problems early and help to manage those problems so the children are less likely to end up in the hospital."

When he conducted the study Dr. Tom was a senior fellow in the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics.

"Regular preventive care for children with special needs and chronic conditions is even more important, given the risk of possible complications for their conditions, often leading to hospitalizations," added coauthor David C. Grossman, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.

The study included 20,065 children who were enrolled in Group Health from 1999 to 2006. Researchers followed the children from birth until age 3.5 years or until their first hospital stay, whichever came first.

During the study period, Group Health recommended nine well-child visits between birth and 3.5 years. The visits start at 3-5 days and continue at 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, and 15 months, and at 2 and 3.5 years.

Most children in the study (76 percent) attended at least three-quarters of the recommended visits, for which Group Health required no copayment. The authors say the lack of copayment is an important incentive and likely one reason for such good adherence to visits among the study population.

Overall, 4 percent of children in the study -- and 9 percent of children with chronic conditions -- were hospitalized. The two most common reasons for hospitalization in both groups were pneumonia and asthma.

Children who missed more than half of their visits had 1.4 to 2.0 times the risk of hospitalization compared to those who attended most of their visits. Children with chronic conditions who missed more than half of their visits had 1.9 to 3.2 times the risk of hospitalization compared to those who attended most of their visits.

Authors caution that their findings might not apply to all health systems because the study was conducted in an integrated health care system where the majority of children attend most of their well-child visits and tend to have families with higher-than-average income and education. The authors were unable to adjust for income, education, race, or ethnicity.

This study does not prove that missing well-child visits will increase the chance of hospitalization, although it does show an important association between these factors. The authors say one important reason for this link is that well-child visits allow for preventive care that keeps children from ending up in the hospital. An alternative explanation is that parents who miss well-child visits are also less likely to manage their kids' illnesses and follow treatment regimens which could result in higher rates of hospitalization for the children.

Some prior studies have found an association between missing well-child visits and increased hospitalization, but others reported no link. The authors of this study conducted another study with similar findings in a fee-for-service medical setting in Hawaii. That study was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (now JAMA Pediatrics) in November 2010.

Authors of the study include Jeffrey O. Tom, MD, MS, with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Hawaii; Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH, with the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Research Institute; David C. Grossman, MD, MPH, with Group Health Research Institute and the University of Washington in Seattle; Cam Solomon, PhD, with Seattle Children's Research Institute; and Chien-Wen Tseng, MD, MPH, with the University of Hawaii and Pacific Health Research and Education Institute in Hawaii.

This study was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (grant T32HP10002-21), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- and by Group Health Cooperative and Group Health Research Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeffrey O. Tom, Rita Mangione-Smith, David C. Grossman, Cam Solomon, Chien-Wen Tseng. Well-Child Care Visits and Risk of Ambulatory Care–Sensitive Hospitalizations. American Journal of Managed Care, May 10, 2013 [link]

Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Young children who miss well-child visits are more likely to be hospitalized." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104642.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2013, May 24). Young children who miss well-child visits are more likely to be hospitalized. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104642.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Young children who miss well-child visits are more likely to be hospitalized." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104642.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins