The association of family continuity with infant health service use

Elizabeth C. Clark, John Saultz, David I. Buckley, Rebecca Rdesinski, Bruce Goldberg, James M. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Continuity of care is a fundamental component of family medicine that has been shown to improve health care quality. Family continuity, when different family members are seen by the same clinician or practice, has not been well studied. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of Medicaid enrollees in Oregon using administrative data. Infants were determined to have family continuity if they received well-baby care at the same clinic as that in which their mothers received prenatal care. Results: Of the 1591 infants identified for participation in this study, 749 (47.1%) had family continuity. Infants had a mean of 4.55 well-child visits, 1.23 emergency department visits, and 0.17 hospitalizations in the first 13 months of life. Multivariate analyses found that infants with family continuity had increased numbers of well-child visits (relative risk, 1.05; P = .041), increased numbers of emergency department visits (relative risk, 1.36; P < .0001), and no difference in the number of hospitalizations (relative risk, 0.85; P = .282) when compared with infants without family continuity. Conclusions: Family continuity, when measured at the clinic level, is associated with a variable effect on infant health service use. This finding suggests that clinic-level continuity is not sufficient for achieving all the benefits of continuity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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