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Pediatrics. 2008 May;121(5):898-905. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-2174.

Impact of immunization at sick visits on well-child care.

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Pediatric Research Consortium, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3535 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



We assessed the impact of immunization at sick visits on subsequent and overall well-child care.


We performed a retrospective cohort study using electronic health record data from 4 urban practices affiliated with an academic medical center. Participants included all children born between September 1, 2003, and July 31, 2004, with a visit at a study practice before 6 weeks of age and > or = 1 sick visit (n = 1675). The main outcome measures were (1) attendance at a well-child visit within 60 days after an index sick visit by children due for vaccines and preventive care and (2) the overall number of well-child visits kept by children between 6 weeks and 13 months of age.


Among all demographic and health-related factors considered, immunization receipt at a sick visit was associated most strongly with decreased subsequent well-child care. Among children already delayed (late) for vaccines, 31% returned for well-child care if immunizations were given at eligible sick visits, compared with 47% of those who received no vaccines (risk difference, with adjustment for covariates: -16%). Among those without immunization delay, 42% of children who received vaccines returned for well-child care, compared with 73% of those who received no vaccines (risk difference: -31%). Although 5 well-child visits are recommended, children with no immunizations at sick visits had an adjusted predicted number of 3.8 well-child visits, those with 1 sick visit with immunizations had 3.3 visits, and those with > or = 2 sick visits with immunizations had 2.8 visits between 6 weeks and 13 months of age.


Immunization at sick visits was associated with decreased rates of well-child care, especially among those without previous vaccine delay. This strong association between immunization at sick visits and well-child care should be considered in any plan to restructure pediatric preventive care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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