Families on the move and children's health care

M. G. Fowler, G. A. Simpson, K. C. Schoendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To evaluate the relationship of family moves to children's health care use. Design. Analyses of data from the 1988 National Health Interview Survey of Child Health (NHIS-CH). This survey uses a multisite probability cluster technique to achieve nationally representative estimates of health and demographic characteristics of the US civilian population. Participants. 17 110 US children and their families who took part in the 1988 NHIS-CH. Measurements. The 1988 NHIS-CH collected health and demographic data including family mobility information on 17 110 US children and their families. This study analyzed the relationship of number of family moves to reporting a regular site for preventive pediatric health care services, a regular site for pediatric sick care, and routine use of emergency departments when a child was sick. Results. Overall, 8% of US children were reported to lack a regular site for preventive care services, 7% a site for sick care, and 3% routinely used an emergency department for sick care. However, 14% of children who had moved three or more times lacked a regular site for preventive care and 10% lacked a regular site for sick care, compared to only 3% of children who had never moved. Children who had moved more than twice were three times as likely to lack a regular site for preventive or sick care and 1.6 times as likely to use an emergency department for sick care, as were children who had never moved. Conclusions. Families with increased mobility are more likely to lack a regular site for both preventive and sick care and to use emergency departments when their children become ill.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-940
Number of pages7
JournalPediatrics
Volume91
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • family moves
  • geographic mobility
  • pediatric health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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