Children with a medical home more likely to receive health screenings and advice

Research Activities, March 2011, No. 367

The medical home is now promoted as a system of primary care for children and adults alike. Care is provided through a medical home when the child has a usual source of care that is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. Nearly half (49 percent) of 21,055 children in a new study had a medical home as a usual source of care, found researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Most children in the study sample had their height (90 percent) and weight (93 percent) measured and about two-thirds of them had their vision or blood pressure checked (63 percent and 66 percent, respectively). However, receipt of health-related advice varied, depending on the topic. For example, 27 percent of parents/caregivers received advice about seat belt use for children aged older than 9 years, but 57 percent of parents/caregivers received advice about the use of a car seat for children 4 years and younger. If children had a medical home, they were significantly more likely to have their height and weight measured and their blood pressure checked than children without a medical home. They were also significantly more likely to report receipt of advice about dental checkups, diet, exercise, and car and bike safety.

These findings were based on a sample of 21,055 children aged 0 to 17 years surveyed in the 2004-2006 household component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The children all had at least one office-based visit for health care within the year prior to the survey. Questions asked of children's parents/caregivers were used in the survey to determine whether or not a child had a medical home.

See "The Medical home, preventive care screenings, and counseling for children: Evidence from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey," by Melissa A. Romaire, M.P.H., and Janice F. Bell, Ph.D., M.P.H., in the September/October 2010 Academic Pediatrics 10(5), pp. 338-345.

Current as of March 2011
Internet Citation: Children with a medical home more likely to receive health screenings and advice: Research Activities, March 2011, No. 367. March 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/mar11/0311RA17.html