Social factors play a key role in missed well-child care visits

Despite the benefits of well-child care visits (WCV), up to half of WCVs are missed. A team of researchers and pediatricians at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Washington, and the University of Vermont sought to understand the challenges that prevent families from attending their child's scheduled appointment. They interviewed caregivers of children who had missed WCVs as well as family and pediatric physicians from a large safety-net health system in Richmond, Virginia. Caregivers and physicians alike identified social factors as key barriers to attendance, including transportation, difficulty taking time off from work, childcare, and underlying financial stressors. The researchers conclude, "Our findings suggest there is a need to further explore the potential relationship between WCV attendance and social determinants of health."

American Academy of Family Physicians