The ongoing care needed by children with chronic physical illness is a topic of national concern. The Pediatric Ambulatory Care Treatment Study (PACTS) is a classic pretest-posttest randomized experiment designed to evaluate a Pediatric Home Care (PHC) program in which an interdisciplinary team provides comprehensive primary health care, support, coordination, patient advocacy, and education to chronically ill children and their families. Home interviews were conducted by an independent research team with the 219 families at enrollment, 6 months, and 1 year; 80% completed all three interviews. Analyses indicate that pediatric home care is effective in improving the satisfaction of the family with care, in improving the child's psychological adjustment, and in lessening the psychiatric symptoms of the mother. The functional status of the children was equally well maintained in both groups, and there was no significant difference in the impact of the illness on the family between the two groups. There are indications that there may be a dose-related effect with respect to the child's psychological adjustment with those in the program for the longest period of time showing the greatest benefit. Such a home care program can be an effective intervention for minimizing the social and psychological consequences of chronic illness.
- Received June 14, 1983.
- Accepted November 3, 1983.
- Copyright © 1984 by the American Academy of Pediatrics