Relationship of medical home quality with school engagement and after-school participation among children with asthma.

J Asthma. 2010 Sep 13. Stevens GD, Pickering TA, Laqui SA. Department of Family Medicine, Center for Community Health Studies, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Alhambra, California, USA.

Objectives: To examine the relationship between medical home quality and measures of daily life experiences among children with asthma.

Methods: A nationally representative sample of children from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), aged 6-17 years (n = 6357), who have asthma was used to assess the relationship of a quality medical home and its features with their daily life experiences. Five medical home features - access, continuity, comprehensiveness, family-centered care, and coordination of care - were examined individually and in total in relation to measures of school engagement (missed school days, parents contacted about problems with the child, repeating a grade since kindergarten) and after-school activity participation (physical activity, sports participation, and community service or volunteer work).

Results: Before and after adjustment for personal characteristics, health insurance status, family environment, neighborhood variables, and asthma severity, total medical home score was associated with more days exercised [beta (B) = 0.10, p < .05] and a greater likelihood of having performed community service or volunteer work [odds ratio (OR) = 1.16, CI: 1.02-1.31]. Additionally, the medical home features of access, comprehensiveness, and family-centered care remained favorably associated with three of the six measures of school engagement and after-school activity participation, even after adjustment.

Conclusion: Medical home quality - particularly the features of access, comprehensiveness, and family-centered care - is positively associated with the daily life experiences of children with asthma. Working to enhance these aspects of primary care might be one place to start in improving the management of children's chronic conditions and their quality of life.

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