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Selected Findings on Child and Adolescent Health Care

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

From the 2007 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

Fact Sheet


This fact sheet presents findings from the 2007 National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) on health care quality, access, and utilization for children and adolescents.

Select for print version (PDF File, 370 KB; PDF Help).



Contents

Introduction
Importance of Child and Adolescent Health Care
Selected Key Findings
Disparities in Children's Health Care
Charts Relevant to Children and Adolescents From AHRQ's 2007 National Reports on Quality and Disparities
For More Information

Introduction

Since 2003, AHRQ has produced an annual National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHQR). These reports are a "report card" on the Nation's health. Many of the quality measures featured in the reports pertain to the health of children and adolescents.

This Fact Sheet presents findings from both reports that:

  • Highlight areas of quality of and access to care, including disparities.
  • List the NHQR and NHDR charts with data on children and adolescents.

The full reports, along with detailed data tables, are available online at www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr07.htm.

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Importance of Child and Adolescent Health Care

About one-fourth of the U.S. population is under the age of 18. Health care providers, government agencies, and others in the health care system recommend that all children have access to high-quality services for health promotion, disease prevention, and acute and chronic care.

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Selected Key Findings

Many areas of children's health have shown improvement over time:

  • The percentage of children ages 19-35 months who received all recommended vaccines has increased steadily since 1998 and is close to 81 percent.
  • The percentage of children ages 2-17 with a dental visit in the past year has also increased and is now over 50 percent.
  • More children are receiving advice from health care providers about healthy eating (an increase from 47.7 percent in 2001 to 53.3 percent in 2004).
  • Suicide deaths among children ages 5-17 have remained steady at just under 1.5 per 100,000 population and are well below the Healthy People 2010 target of 5 per 100,000 population. (Healthy People sets the Nation's health objectives. See www.Healthypeople.gov for more information).

Other measures show a need for improvement:

  • Although new AIDS cases among adolescents ages 13-17 remain low, in 2005 they exceeded the Healthy People target of 1 case per 100,000 population for the first time in nearly a decade.
  • Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) from poor families are less likely than CSHCN from high-income families to get care as soon as wanted.
  • Parents of only about one-third of overweight children ages 6-11 were told that their child was overweight. Fewer than half of parents of overweight adolescents ages 12-19 were told their child was overweight.
  • The percentage of children whose parents reported that they sometimes or never got care for illness or injury as soon as wanted did not change between 2001 and 2004 (7.3% in 2004).

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Disparities in Children's Health Care

Lack of insurance is a significant issue for children and adolescent health care.

  • Uninsured children are less likely to receive advice about healthy eating (38.7% compared with 55.4% with private insurance) (go to Figure 1).
  • Despite a reduction in disparities, the percentage of Hispanic children with health insurance was significantly lower in 2005 than it was for non-Hispanic White children.
  • The proportion of poor (85.7%) and near poor (85%) children with health insurance was also significantly lower than it was for high-income children (96.8%).

Gaps also exist in care for some racial and ethnic groups.

  • Blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Hispanics have lower levels of prenatal care in the first trimester than Whites.
  • From 1999-2004, the proportion of children with untreated dental caries was higher for Blacks (24.4%) and Mexican Americans (31.2%) than for Whites (17%).
  • In 2004 the rate of pediatric asthma hospital admissions per 100,000 population was higher for Black (373.9) and Hispanic (143.7) children than for White children (97.8).

Education and income also play a role.

  • The percentage of children with a dental visit in the past year was lower for poor, near poor, and middle income children compared with high income children.

Some disparities have decreased.

  • From 2000 to 2005, the gap between Blacks and Whites, Asians and Whites, and children of multiple races and Whites who received all recommended vaccines decreased.
  • The gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites in the percentage of children receiving recommended vaccines also decreased.
  • The gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites in the proportion of children whose parents or guardians reported poor communication with their health providers decreased.

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Charts Relevant to Children and Adolescents From AHRQ's 2007 National Reports on Quality and Disparities

This table lists charts on quality and disparities in health care for children and adolescents from the 2007 National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and its companion 2007 National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). The NHQR and NHDR highlight findings on a selected number of measures each year. Additional data on measures relevant to children and adolescents can be found in the online data tables for each report.

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For More Information

The 2007 National Healthcare Quality Report (AHRQ Pub. No. 08-0040) and the 2007 National Healthcare Disparities Report (AHRQ Pub. No. 08-0041) are available online at www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr07.htm.

Printed copies of both reports can be ordered from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by calling 8003589295 or by sending an Email to AHRQPubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

Additional information on programs and activities related to child health at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is available on the AHRQ Web site at www.ahrq.gov/child/ or by contacting:

Denise Dougherty, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, Child Health and Quality Improvement
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (301) 427-1868
Fax: (301) 427-1562
E-mail: Denise.Dougherty@ahrq.hhs.gov

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AHRQ Publication No. 08-M036
Current as of March 2008

 

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

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