Characteristics of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), Age 0–17 Years, by SDM Category

VariableIncludedExcludedaP Valueb Comparing SDM PatternsP Valueb Comparing Included Versus Excluded
IncreasingUnchanged HighUnchanged LowDecreasing
No. children represented in population1.9 million6.3 million2.0 million1.8 million1.4 million
Percent represented15.9%51.9%17.0%15.2%
Demographic characteristics%%%%%
Age, y.009.6
Parental education.8.02
 No degree11.99.211.311.917.1
 High school complete45.445.748.444.348.7
 Bachelor's degree19.016.515.019.711.3
 Graduate-level degree10.113.312.611.711.5
 Other degree13.615.312.712.411.4
 Near poor4.
 Low income15.715.616.412.915.3
 Middle income32.929.131.131.733.6
 High income24.233.524.731.816.0
Insurance coverage.04<.001
 Any private60.167.760.765.150.3
General health status patternc.0005.06
 Unchanged high31.439.024.530.228.8
 Unchanged intermediate14.312.718.014.718.0
 Unchanged low11.48.412.011.57.4
  • a Children were excluded if they had no usual source of care or their household did not respond to any of the items used to create the SDM measure.

  • b P values calculated by χ2 tests with robust variance estimates accounting for the weighted, clustered, and stratified MEPS survey design.

  • c General Health Status determined using the overall score from 5 Likert-scaled items derived from the Child Health Questionnaire, General Health Subscale (child seems less healthy than other children, child has never been seriously ill, child usually catches whatever is going around, expect child will have a healthy life, respondent worries more than is usual about child’s health). For each year, the overall score was categorized as (low, <15; medium, 15 to <20; or high, ≥20). Patterns over the 2 study years are presented.