Fund-Supported Studies Highlight Needed Changes in Pediatric Care and Education

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Two Fund-supported articles on children's health and development have been published in the professional literature:

  • In "Returning to the Basics: A New Era in Pediatric Education," in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Commonwealth Fund Vice President Edward L. Schor, M.D., and other child health experts argue that pediatric training has not kept pace with scientific and clinical advances. To incorporate these improvements — such as the emerging field of genomics and new information on neurodevelopment — the authors recommend developing a basic science curriculum for pediatric training using a case analysis approach. With this approach, clinicians, residents, and medical students consider issues such as the timing of the illness or condition, family coping skills, and prevention.

  • In a review of articles on preventive care for children, Paul J. Chung, M.D., and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, find that less than half of all children and adolescents in the United States receive the preventive care recommended in professional guidelines. In the study — published in the Annual Review of Public Health — the researchers focus on 58 studies that address frequency of visits, developmental and psychosocial surveillance, screening for diseases, and anticipatory guidance. The authors recommend certain tactics, like self-administered patient questionnaires and office efficiency tools, and propose some broader strategies, such as additional research on quality improvement and changes in reimbursement for preventive care.