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Pediatrics. 1983 Nov;72(5):619-24.

Concerns of mothers seeking care in private pediatric offices: opportunities for expanding services.


A surplus of general pediatricians has been predicted for 1990. This surplus could provide both opportunity and need for practitioners to identify areas of maternal concern that might guide expansion of marketable physician services. For this purpose, maternal concerns were assessed by interviewing 207 mothers seeking care in private pediatric offices. Only 30% of mothers were most worried about their child's physical health. The remaining 70% were most concerned about problems falling into six categories of parenting, behavior, and development (psychosocial concerns): personality/social development, discipline, mental development, mother-child interaction time, adjustment to divorce and other life changes, and adolescent transition. Although the majority of these concerns conceivably could be handled in private offices, only 28% of these mothers had discussed their greater psychosocial concern with their pediatrician. A search for explanations of this failure to communicate indicated mothers often were not aware that their pediatrician could help, or they questioned his ability or interest in assisting them. Characteristics that correlated significantly with communication were higher family socioeconomic levels, and greater physician self-perceived ability and interest in these psychosocial problems. Parenting, behavior, and development concerns represent an opportunity for expanding services if some of these obstacles can be overcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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