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Pediatrics. 2004 Dec;114(6):1522-9.

Prevalence and correlates of high-quality basic pediatric preventive care.

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Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center, 771 Albany St, Dowling 3509 South, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



The list of recommended pediatric preventive services has grown considerably in the past decade, and clinician variability, clinician distribution, and other correlates of provision of these basic preventive services (BPS) are not known.


To describe the proportion of high-quality basic pediatric preventive services, exclusive of immunizations, reported by parents and to identify sociodemographic and health system predictors and health service correlates of provision of these services.


The study used cross-sectional data on 2041 children, 4 to 35 months of age, in the 2000 National Survey of Early Childhood Health.


The BPS measure assesses the receipt of (1) developmental assessment, (2) injury prevention counseling, (3) screening for parental smoking, (4) guidance on reading to the child, and (5) guidance on 14 other topics (assessed as a composite score). The BPS scale categorizes the receipt of services as excellent, good, fair, or poor.


Most children received excellent (34.9%) or good (31.5%) care, but many received fair (24.9%) or poor (8.7%) care. Sociodemographic and health care factors such as race/ethnicity, insurance, and practice setting were not associated with BPS levels. Higher BPS scores were associated with parental reports of longer well-child visits, more counseling regarding family and community risk factors, lower rates of delayed or missed care, and greater satisfaction.


Two thirds of children receive good or excellent basic preventive care, as determined with this composite, and no disparities according to race/ethnicity, income, or health insurance status of families (which are often found to be associated with health care access) were found. This equitable distribution of high-quality care suggests a high level of clinician professionalism. Duration of visits may be a key factor to improve quality of care. Because of its association with other services, processes, and outcomes of care, the BPS scale may serve as a useful construct for monitoring quality and stimulating efforts to improve national pediatric preventive care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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