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Open Access Research

Impact of predisposing, enabling, and need factors in accessing preventive medical care among U.S. children: results of the national survey of children's health

Ka-Ming Lo1* and Kimberly G Fulda2

Author Affiliations

1 Biostatistics Department, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA

2 Primary Care Research Institute, Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 855 Montgomery, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA

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Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care 2008, 2:12  doi:10.1186/1750-4732-2-12

Published: 8 December 2008

Abstract

Background

Preventive care in the United States has been a priority, especially for children under 18 years of age. The objective of this analysis was to determine which predisposing, enabling, and need factors affect access to preventive health care for children.

Methods

Data were obtained from the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), a cross-sectional study of children in the United States. The current analysis examined whether predisposing, enabling, and need factors included in Andersen's Socio-Behavioral Model significantly affect having received preventive medical care among children 3–17 years of age. Logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results

63,924 out of 85,151 subjects were reported as having received preventive medical care. After stratifying by geographical region, the following factors were significant for predicting having received preventive care. Age was negatively associated with having received care in all four regions. Household education of less than a college degree and being white (compared to black) were negatively associated with having received care in the Northeast, Midwest, and South. Having fewer than 4 children was negatively associated in Northeast but positively associated in the West with having received care. Being male, having less than 3 children in the household, having less than 3 adults in the household, and being Hispanic were positively associated with having received care in the West only. Not having insurance and having a lower socioeconomic status were negatively associated with having received care; while, having a personal doctor or nurse was positively associated in all four regions. Primary language other than English was negatively associated with having received care in the Northeast only. Currently needing medicine was also positively associated with having received care in all four regions; while, having limited abilities to do things was positively associated in the West only.

Conclusion

Older children whose family resides in Northeast, Midwest, and South regions with low household education and poverty levels experience insufficient preventive health care. Medicaid or SCHIP coverage should be expanded for children who are still uninsured. For children in the West, gender, family size, ethnicity, and their ability to do things should also be considered when providing assistance for receiving preventive care.