The third issue of the Journal of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association covers a diverse set of areas from methodology to health services research to screening and physician behavior. Marie McCormick (Harvard School of Public Health) and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (Teacher's College at Columbia University) use data from the Infant Health and Development Project to provide evidence regarding parental recall of clinical events affecting their children as newborns. The work enhances the literature on the adequacy of recall. Henry Ireys and Jamie Perry from Johns Hopkins describe the systematic development of a satisfaction scale for parents of children with special health care needs, a particularly important contribution given the increasing attention to measuring the experience of households with the health care system and the particular risks children with special health care needs face in the changing health care system. Steve Berman and colleagues from the University of Colorado continue their imaginative use of Medicaid claims data to understand aspects of continuity of care and its influence on the use of services for middle ear conditions. Tom Newman and colleagues at the University of California San Francisco also make use of large data systems, here information available from a large health maintenance organization, to provide better evidence regarding testing behavior and rates of hyperbilirubinemia in a relatively large population.
Cynthia Howard and colleagues from the University of Rochester describe physiologic stability during various forms of feeding and suggest that cup-feeding serves as an alternative to bottle-feeding when supplementing breastfeeding. Merle Johnson and colleagues from Central Michigan University describe findings from a telephone survey of inner-city households regarding infant sleep position and some of the reasons for parents' choice of position. John Wiecha describes variations by race and ethnicity in adolescents' knowledge of hepatitis B infections. Shari Barkin and Lillian Gelberg of Wake Forest and University of California at Los Angeles provide worrisome findings of the limited preventive counseling regarding drowning risks in a community with high rates of child drowning.
Alex Kemper and colleagues from the University of North Carolina reviewed vision screening tests for their ability to detect amblyopia—and mainly show the inadequacy of the evidence base regarding these tests. Timothy Jones and colleagues from Vanderbilt University describe a new set of unusual sources of lead poisoning.
So, where do these diverse and interesting manuscripts take us? What are the key educational, clinical, health services, and health policy issues that academic pediatric generalists should address? What are the likely methodologic breakthroughs of the next few years? How can we help set the research agenda in these fields of general pediatrics? We hope the Journal will provide leadership in answering these questions and we seek your advice, suggestions, and contributions as the Journal moves forward.