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December 2007

Should Children With Special Health Care Needs Have Separate Preventive Care Visits?

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(12):1216-1218. doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.12.1216

Primary preventive care for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) has received remarkably little attention from pediatric researchers. While there is some anecdotal evidence suggesting that CSHCN are underimmunized or are missing out on other specific components of routine well-child care, the handful of studies published on the subject fail to document a pattern of underuse that distinguishes these children from those in the general population. Certainly the expectations of a medical home—the standard of care for these children—includes meeting all of their routine, primary preventive care needs as well as additional preventive care required for their chronic conditions.1 Yet, concerns remain that in the face of ongoing and sometimes life-threatening health problems, otherwise routine care may be subordinated to the need for chronic care management.