Knowledge of Guidelines on Pediatric Patients in Foster Care

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Purpose: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) identifies children living in foster care (CFC) as a special health care needs population due to a high prevalence of health conditions. To address these disparities, the AAP released guidelines regarding the timeliness of medical assessments for CFC. Lack of recognition of the guidelines further widens health disparities experienced by this population. This project’s purpose was to 1.) Improve pediatric providers’ and nurses’ knowledge of AAP guidelines by at least 50% and 2.) Initiate acknowledgment by participants that CFC represent a special health care needs population.

Methods: Following conduction of qualitative interviews and root cause analysis (RCA), pedagogical materials clarifying guidelines were created. Materials were distributed to physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses at five pediatric primary care locations in Vermont. Changes to knowledge were measured by pre- and post-intervention surveys.

Results: Out of 53 pre-intervention respondents, 13 were aware of any guidelines, and zero participants were able to cite all guidelines correctly. Of the 141 responses to core questions in Survey 1, 62 (44.0%) were correct. Of the 75 responses to Survey 2, 66 (88.0%) were correct. Compared to 0% at baseline, 67% of respondents cited all guidelines correctly by project’s culmination. By project’s completion, 100% of participants agreed with the AAP designation of CFC as a special health needs population.

Conclusions: Findings corroborate widespread lack of awareness of guidelines. Increasing access to clarifying materials can significantly increase knowledge of guideline components and acknowledgment that CFC represent a special health care needs population.

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