Prevalence and Characteristics of Providers’ Care Coordination Communication With Schools

Published:January 25, 2022DOI:



      Care coordination between schools and medical providers promotes child health, particularly for children with physical, emotional, and behavioral challenges. The purpose of this study was to assess caregivers’ reports of provider-school communication for their children. Further, the study assessed if communication rates varied by child demographic or health conditions.


      This study was a cross-sectional analysis of the 2016–2017 National Survey of Children's Health focused on school-aged children (age 6–17 years; n = 18,160). Weighted frequencies overall and stratified by provider-school communication status are reported. Multivariable logistic regression examined associations of provider-school communication.


      Only 23.5% of the total sample reported provider-school communication. The highest caregiver-reported communication prevalence was for children with diabetes (68.0%). Behavioral/mental health conditions, chronic physical health conditions or having increased medical complexity and needs were significantly associated with increased communication compared to those without these conditions. Odds Ratio (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) for children with a behavioral/mental health condition were OR: 1.28; CI: 1.02 to 1.61, for children with a chronic physical health condition were OR: 1.37; CI: 1.15 to 1.63 and for children with special health care needs or with medical complexity were OR: 2.15; CI: 1.75 to 2.64 and OR: 1.77; CI: 1.09 to 2.87, respectively. Significant communication differences existed for every health condition (P < 0.05) except for children who had a blood disorder (P = 0.365).


      Caregiver perception of provider-school communication is low and differences in reported rates existed between health conditions and complexity status. Further work is needed to support provider-school-family communication for children with physical, mental, behavioral, and complex health conditions.


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