Financial burden for families of children with special health care needs

Matern Child Health J. 2005 Jun;9(2):207-18. doi: 10.1007/s10995-005-4870-x.


Objectives: We describe family finance-related burden experienced by families with children with special health care needs (CSHCN). The paper further seeks to describe correlates of family financial burden.

Methods: We examined correlates of family finance-related burden using multivariate methods and the National Survey of CSHCN, a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of CSHCN. We also examined state-level correlations.

Results: Fully 40% of families with CSHCN, or 3,746,000 families nation-wide, experience financial burden related to their child's condition. Experiencing a finance-related problem is negatively associated with Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) indicators and positively associated with poor-child health status. States that better meet MCHB indicators generally have lower levels of family finance-related problems.

Conclusions: Families with CSHCN have high levels of finance-related family problems. Development of appropriate systems of care appears to offer a mechanism for alleviating the financial burdens of these families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Disabled Children*
  • Economics / trends*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Social Class
  • United States