HumanInsight Well-child visit attendance of children who have experienced a parental COVID-19 diagnosis
Minerva Pediatr (Torino). 2022 Jun 15. doi: 10.23736/S2724-5276.22.06777-5. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of well-child visit (WCV) attendance have significantly decreased. We wanted to see how a parent's positive diagnosis for COVID-19 affected a child's WCV attendance along with other factors. Therefore, we hypothesized that in families with at least 1 positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the rates of WCV attendance would be lower than in families that have not experienced COVID-19.
METHODS: Using National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data from 2020, we analyzed sample adult responses for the sample child to questions about last WCV attendance. We included children whose parents completed the survey during quarters 3 and 4 of 2020. The outcome of this study was WCV attendance in the past 12 months with the exposure of interest being parental diagnosis of COVID-19.
RESULTS: In our sample (N=1,413), 91% of children attended a WCV in the past 12 months, and 5% had a parent with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. On adjusted analysis, there was a negative but not statistically significant association between a parent with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and WCV attendance (OR=0.32; 95% CI: 0.09, 1.20; p=0.092).
CONCLUSIONS: Nationwide, there has been a significant decrease in children attending recommended WCVs since the start of the pandemic. Having a parent test positive for COVID-19 may contribute to decreases in WCV attendance in traditional medical office settings. Alternative options exist that may improve WCV attendance; these include telemedicine or virtual visits, as well as visits completed in non-traditional settings such as mobile health clinics and school-based clinics. Further expansion of these options for WCVs must still take into account health disparities that exist among marginalized communities.
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