Published Date: March 02, 2022

Summary: Children with chronic conditions often have difficulties with emotions, concentration, and behaviors (ECB) and are not recognized and treated adequately. In this paper, long-term medication use (LTM) was adopted as a proxy for chronic illness due to the lack of consistent and standardized diagnostic criteria for chronic illnesses in children.

Children (8–12 years) were selected from the California Health Interview Survey (2017) based on: (1) households with children (<12 years), (2) parent/adult caregivers report about child's health indicating "yes" to, (3) "does your child require prescription medicine for a health condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months or more," and (4) "difficulties with ECB in past 6 months."

Findings: A total of 1,600 children were included by the CHIS data set, and children whose parental report had met the selection criteria were children with LTM, ECB, and both LTM + ECB. Children with LTM+ ECB were Caucasian (56.4%), Hispanic (19.3%), and males (64.5%). Children with both LTM + ECB had two to three (33.87%) or at least four (53.2%) physician visits, and/or receiving special therapy (45.1%). Children with LTM had prescription delays and were not able to get medical care due to lack of insurance. The majority of the children with LTM (54.2%) and LTM + ECB (43.5%) had parental employment-based insurance. More children that have both LTM and ECB (48.4%) than children with LTM. No ECB (32.9%) were on Medi-Cal/Medicaid.

Children with LTM need further evaluation for difficulties with ECB. Future studies are required to examine health status, health care use, and access for children with LTM and ECB.

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