We conducted a case-control study to examine the correlates of emergency room use in the first year of life, particularly the role of parental health beliefs, among the families of inner-city children enrolled in a hospital-based primary care program. Data were collected by structured interviews and by medical record review. Emergency room users were more likely to have single mothers and to have acute, recurrent medical conditions than were non-users. Health beliefs differed between groups by maternal report of worry about the kinds of illnesses that her child acquires. Emergency room use was predicted by: maternal marital status, maternal worry and concern that illness interferes with her child's activity, acute recurrent illnesses, hospitalization. This model may be applicable to other populations in designing intervention strategies to modify emergency room utilization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health