To examine whether parental beliefs about routine checkups are associated with children's receipt of timely preventive care.
The 2001 United Way Outcomes and Community Impact Program telephone survey of San Diego County, including 918 households with children between 3 and 19 years of age, where the respondent was the parent.
Cross‐sectional analyses examined the relationship between parental beliefs and children's receipt of routine checkups in the past year, using the expanded behavioral model of health services utilization.
Approximately 81 percent of children received routine visits as recommended during the prior year. Parents' beliefs about the timing of routine checkups were strongly associated with their children's receipt of recommended routine care, after controlling for important covariates (odds ratio=2.85, 95 percent confidence interval=1.7–4.8). Other significant factors included the parent's educational level, whether the child had a regular source of care, and whether the child was sick in the past year.
Multiple factors, including parental beliefs, influence whether children receive recommended routine care. Understanding the role of these factors may help explain why even insured children do not receive preventive health care as recommended, and can be used to target children most likely to lack regular preventive care.