The Medical Home: Relationships With Family Functioning for Children With and Without Special Health Care Needs

Published:August 13, 2012DOI:



      In this study we tested the association of the medical home with family functioning for children without and with special health care needs (CSHCN).


      We used data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health to run multivariate logistic regressions to test the association between having a medical home and family functioning (difficulty with parental coping, parental aggravation, childcare/work issues, and missed school days). We further assessed interactions of CSHCN status with having a medical home.


      In adjusted analysis, parents of children with a medical home were less likely to report difficulty with parental coping (odds ratio [OR] 0.26 [0.19–0.36]), parental aggravation (OR 0.54 [0.45–0.65]), childcare/work issues (OR 0.72 [0.61–0.84]), and missed school days (OR 0.87[0.78–0.97]) for their children than those without a medical home. Using interaction terms, we found that for most outcomes, the medical home had a greater association for CSHCN compared with healthy peers, with odds ratios ranging 0.40 (CI 0.22–0.56) for parental aggravation to 0.67 (CI0.52–0.86) for missed school days.


      We show that the medical home is associated with better family functioning. All children may benefit from receiving care in a medical home, but CSHCN, who have greater needs, may particularly benefit from this enhanced model of care.


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