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Type: Journal article
Title: Health-service use by children with asthma over a 6-month period
Author: Spurrier, N.
Staugas, R.
Sawyer, M.
Wakefield, M.
Ruffin, R.
Jureidini, J.
Arney, F.
Baghurst, P.
Citation: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2003; 39(1):15-21
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 1034-4810
Statement of
N.J. Spurrier, R. Staugas, M.G. Sawyer, M.A. Wakefield, R.E. Ruffin, J. Jureidini, F. Arney and P. Baghurst
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: The present study aims to describe the use of health services by children with asthma, and examine disease-specific, parental and sociodemographic variables associated with different levels of health-service utilization. METHODS: Parents of 135 children attending an emergency room (ER) completed questionnaires measuring the children's asthma symptoms, and sociodemographic and psychological variables. Parents were contacted monthly for 6 months to document the number of planned and unplanned visits to hospital and community health-care services for asthma. RESULTS: At least one further unplanned visit to the ER was made by 37% of children, while 62% made at least one unplanned visit to a general practitioner (GP). Fifty-five per cent made planned review visits to a GP, 30% to paediatricians and 5% to hospital clinics. After controlling for the level of asthma symptoms, parental anxiety and parental perceptions of children's vulnerability were associated with unplanned GP visits (P = 0.05 and P = 0.01, respectively); a planned review visit and the child being admitted to hospital for the index attack were associated with unplanned ER visits (P = 0.05 and P = 0.004, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Children with asthma more frequently attend GP services than hospital services for both planned and unplanned asthma management. Different variables predict the unplanned use of GP and ER services. Understanding these differences is imperative if children and families are to make the most effective use of health services.
Keywords: asthma; health-care utilization
Description: The definitive version is available at
RMID: 0020030336
DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2003.00064.x
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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