Parent-Reported Quality of Preventive Care for Children At-Risk for Developmental Delay

Published In: Academic Pediatrics, v. 12, no. 5, Sep.-Oct 2012, p. 384-390

Posted on RAND.org on September 01, 2012

by Tumaini Coker, Yahya Shaikh, Paul J. Chung

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OBJECTIVE: To compare preventive care quality for children at risk and not at risk for developmental, behavioral, or social delays. METHODS: Using the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (n = 22,269), we used the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) questionnaire to identify children ages 10 months to 5 years who were at risk for delays. We examined parent-reported quality measures to evaluate whether care was comprehensive, coordinated, family-centered, effective in providing developmental surveillance and screening, and provided within a medical home. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used. RESULTS: Twenty-eight percent of children were at-risk for delay, with 17% at moderate risk and 11% at high risk. Greater proportions of children at high, moderate, and no/low risk had a usual source of care (89%–96%) and a personal doctor/nurse (91%–94%); smaller proportions of children underwent a standardized developmental screening (16%–23%) and had parental developmental concerns elicited from their doctor (47%–48%). In adjusted analyses, moderate-risk and high-risk children were less likely than no/low-risk children to receive needed care coordination (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] for high risk 0.33, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.24–0.46) and referrals (high risk AOR 0.40, 95% CI 0.25–0.65), family-centered care (high-risk AOR 0.47, 95% CI 0.36–0.62), and to have a medical home (high-risk AOR 0.41, 95% CI 0.32–0.54). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings may reflect either poorer quality of care provided to at-risk children, or higher level of parental need that routine visits are not currently meeting. For at-risk children, enhanced screening and detection followed by targeted increases in communication and follow-up may help clinicians better anticipate families' needs.

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