Scal P, Davern M, Ireland M, Park K. J Pediatr. 2008;152(4):471–475
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. To examine the effect of the transition to adulthood on financial and nonfinancial barriers to care in youths with asthma.
STUDY POPULATION. Studied were adolescents and young adults with asthma. Public-use data from the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics were analyzed. Data from the years 2000–2005 were pooled to provide a sample of 26 597 adolescents (12–17 years) and 19 998 young adults (18–124 years).
METHODS. Subjects were classified as having delayed care because of financial barriers when during the previous 12 months they had delayed seeking medical care because of concerns about affordability. Similarly, an unmet need because of a financial barrier was identified when during the previous 12 months the respondents indicated that they had failed to receive needed medical care or prescription medication because they could not afford it.
RESULTS. More young adults than adolescents encountered financial barriers that resulted in delays (18.6% vs 8%; P < .05) and unmet needs (26.6% vs 11.4%; P < .05). Delays caused by nonfinancial barriers were similar (17.3% vs 14.9%; P was not significant).
CONCLUSIONS. Delays and unmet needs caused by financial reasons were significantly higher for young adults with asthma compared with adolescents with asthma.
REVIEWER COMMENTS. It is crucial for everyone who treats children with asthma to recognize the potential vulnerability of these patients as they transition to adulthood. Appropriate counseling and written materials regarding health insurance might be helpful, as might providing lists of resources for free or reduced-cost care that are available in the local community.
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics