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Pediatrics. 2005 Apr;115(4 Suppl):1195-201.

The essential role of research in community pediatrics.

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Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1620 McElderry St, Baltimore, Maryland 21205-1903, USA.


Several recommendations in the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement "The Pediatrician's Role in Community Pediatrics" underscore the essential role of research as an agent of change to promote the health and well-being of children. This article provides (1) a framework for thinking about research in community pediatrics, (2) special considerations important in conducting community-level research, (3) an example of community-level research that has significantly decreased mortality in children (prevention of sudden infant death syndrome), (4) an example of a current issue illustrating the importance of community pediatrics research (promotion of school readiness), and (5) a discussion of future directions for research. Many of the leading health problems facing the United States as outlined in Healthy People 2010 are problems that affect children or have their roots in childhood and are likely to be addressed by community-level research and interventions. It seems clear that pediatricians should be learning to participate in, advocate for, and conduct more community pediatrics research.

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