Non-participation in preventive child health examinations at the general practitioner in Denmark: A register-based study

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Grethe Søndergaard, Sofie Biering-Sørensen, Susan Ishøy Michelsen, Ole Schnor, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen

Objective. To examine demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of parents and children in families not participating in preventive child health examinations at the general practitioner in a society with free and easy access to healthcare. Design. Population-covering register linkage study. Setting. Denmark, 2002-2004. Subjects. Two cohorts comprising all children born in Denmark between 1 July 1998 and 30 June 1999 (n =70 891) and in 2002 (n =65 995), respectively. The demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of these children and the adults living in the same household as these were identified through register linkage. Main outcome measures. Crude and mutually adjusted odds ratios for non-participation in scheduled preventive child health examinations at the GP (age 5 weeks, 5 months, 12 months, 4 years, and 5 years) according to child characteristics (sex, number of hospitalizations, and older siblings) and parental characteristics (age, educational level, attachment to labour market, ethnicity, household income, and number of adults in the household). Results. Children of young and single parents were less likely to receive a preventive child health examination. Increased odds ratios for non-participation were found for children of parents outside the labour market, with low educational level, and especially for the combination of these. Non-participation increased with decreasing household income and with the number of older siblings. Conclusion. Despite the fact that Denmark has free and easy access to the GP, the utilization of preventive child health examinations is lower among the more deprived part of the population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Volume26
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages6
ISSN0281-3432
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ID: 21161435