Demographics Impact Family Physicians' Care of Children

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Demographics Impact Family Physicians' Care of Children
Demographics Impact Family Physicians' Care of Children

(HealthDay News) — Demographic and geographic factors influence whether family physicians provide care for children, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Laura A. Makaroff, DO, from the Robert Graham Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues used survey data from the American Board of Family Medicine (2006–2009) to analyze the proportion of family physicians providing care to children.

The researchers found that for family physicians, being younger (odds ratio [OR], 0.97), female (OR, 1.19), and at a rural location (OR, 1.5) are predictors of providing care to children. Compared with group practices, family physicians practicing in a partnership are more likely to provide care to children (OR, 1.53). Those practicing in high-poverty areas are less likely to provide care for children (OR, 0.1). In areas with no pediatricians, family providers are also more likely to provide care to children compared with those in areas with higher pediatrician density (OR, 1.8). Those in areas with high densities of children are also more likely to provide care to children (OR, 1.04 ).

"Various demographic and geographic factors influence the likelihood of family physicians providing care to children, findings that have important implications to policy efforts aimed at ensuring access to care for children," conclude the authors.

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