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Original Investigation |

Parents’ Experiences With Pediatric Care at Retail Clinics

Jane M. Garbutt, MB, ChB1,2; Kathy M. Mandrell, BS1; Melissa Allen, BA1; Randall Sterkel, MD1,3; Jay Epstein, MD1; Katherine Kreusser, MD1; Jerome O’Neil, MD1; Blaine Sayre, MD1; Harold Sitrin, MD1; Kristin Stahl, MD1; Robert C. Strunk, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri
2Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri
3St Louis Children’s Hospital, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(9):845-850. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.352.
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Importance  Little is known about the use of retail clinics (RCs) for pediatric care.

Objective  To describe the rationale and experiences of families with a pediatrician who also use RCs for pediatric care.

Design and Setting  Cross-sectional study with 19 pediatric practices in a Midwestern practice-based research network.

Participants  Parents attending the pediatrician’s office.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Parents’ experience with RC care for their children.

Results  In total, 1484 parents (91.9% response rate) completed the self-administered paper survey. Parents (23.2%) who used the RC for pediatric care were more likely to report RC care for themselves (odds ratio, 7.79; 95% CI, 5.13-11.84), have more than 1 child (2.16; 1.55-3.02), and be older (1.05; 1.03-1.08). Seventy-four percent first considered going to the pediatrician but reported choosing the RC because the RC had more convenient hours (36.6%), no office appointment was available (25.2%), they did not want to bother the pediatrician after hours (15.4%), or they thought the problem was not serious enough (13.0%). Forty-seven percent of RC visits occurred between 8 am and 4 pm on weekdays or 8 am and noon on the weekend. Most commonly, visits were reportedly for acute upper respiratory tract illnesses (sore throat, 34.3%; ear infection, 26.2%; and colds or flu, 19.2%) and for physicals (13.1%). While 7.3% recalled the RC indicating it would inform the pediatrician of the visit, only 41.8% informed the pediatrician themselves.

Conclusions and Relevance  Parents with established relationships with a pediatrician most often took their children to RCs for care because access was convenient. Almost half the visits occurred when the pediatricians’ offices were likely open.

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Subject Recruitment

Recruitment of parents from 19 pediatric offices.

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