Objectives: This report presents the development, plan, and operation of the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), a module of the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. This survey was designed to produce national and state-specific prevalence estimates of CSHCN, describe the types of services that they need and use, and assess aspects of the system of care for CSHCN. Funding for this survey was provided by the Matemal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration.
Methods: A random-digit-dial sample of households with children younger than 18 years of age was constructed for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. All children in each identified household were screened for special health care needs. If CSHCN were identified in the household, a detailed interview was conducted for one randomly selected child with special health care needs. Detailed interviews were also conducted for a separate national sample of children, to generate estimates for children without special health care needs, and permit comparisons with CSHCN on all study measures. The respondents were parents or guardians who knew about the children's health and health care.
Results: A total of 192,083 household screening interviews were completed from April 2005 to February 2007. This resulted in 40,840 completed special-needs interviews and 6,113 completed interviews for children in the comparison (referent) sample. The weighted overall response rates were 56.1% for special-needs and 50.3% for referent-sample interviews.