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December 2000

Anticipatory Guidance: Missed Opportunities

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(12):1185-1186. doi:10.1001/archpedi.154.12.1185

THE STUDY by Schuster and colleagues1 in this issue of the ARCHIVES challenges the commonly held belief that anticipatory guidance forms the foundation of pediatricians' interaction with patients and their families. The nationwide telephone survey of families with children younger than 3 years indicates that, with the exception of newborn care, most respondents in this study reported that their pediatrician had not discussed with them such common issues as crying, sleep patterns, encouraging learning, discipline, and toilet training. The respondents thought the missed information was important enough that they would be willing to pay more to receive it. Parents whose pediatrician did address these issues were likely to rate the care they received as excellent compared with the low ratings by parents who did not receive information addressing these common concerns.