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Pediatrics. 2004 Jun;113(6 Suppl):1965-72.

Satisfaction with health care for young children.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California, USA.



The aims of this study are to 1) assess parent satisfaction with well-child care for their young child and 2) identify how global satisfaction ratings and parent reports on the processes of care vary with child and family characteristics, health care received, and health system factors.


The National Survey of Early Childhood Health is a telephone survey that used a stratified random-digit-dial sampling design to achieve a nationally representative sample of 2068 children and 4 to 35 months. Parents provided global ratings of satisfaction with their child's well-child visits (range 0-100) and reported their satisfaction with information provided and the time spent with the provider. A subsample of parents whose child has a particular provider for well-child care (n = 930) also reported their likelihood of recommending their provider.


The mean global satisfaction rating is 86.9 (standard error: 6.1). Approximately 94% of parents of young children reported information satisfaction, 88% reported time satisfaction, and 79% would recommend their child's provider. Bivariate analysis shows lower satisfaction for uninsured children but few differences associated with insurance type or health care setting. In multivariate analyses including child and family factors and health system factors, Hispanic, Spanish-speaking mothers of young children have lower odds than non-Hispanic white mothers of reporting information (odds ratio [OR]: 0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.13-0.79) and time satisfaction (OR: 0.44; 95% CI: 0.21-0.90). Parents of children who experienced missed or delayed care have lower odds of time satisfaction (OR: 0.27; 95% CI: 0.16-0.46) and have lower global satisfaction. Greater length of well-child visits is consistently associated with greater satisfaction on all 4 measures.


Although most parents reported relatively high levels of satisfaction with well-child care, shorter length of well-child visits and experiencing missed or delayed care are the 2 factors consistently associated with lower satisfaction using each of the measures. Efforts to improve satisfaction ratings might focus on improving the delivery of well-child care and ensuring that parents get the time they need.

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