Purpose: Despite the benefits of well-child care visits, up to one-half of these visits are missed. Little is known about why children miss them, so we undertook a qualitative study to elucidate these factors.
Methods: We interviewed 17 caregivers whose children had missed well-child visits and 6 clinicians, focusing on 3 areas: the value of well-child visits, barriers to attendance, and facilitators of attendance. Transcripts were analyzed with a grounded theory approach and thematic analysis.
Results: Caregivers and clinicians identified similar important aspects of well-child visits: immunizations, detection of disease, and monitoring of growth and development. Both groups identified similar barriers to attendance: transportation, difficulty taking time off from work, child care, and other social stressors.
Conclusions: Further work to explore how addressing social determinants of health might improve attendance of well-child visits is needed.
Keywords: attendance; barriers; children; pediatrics; practice-based research; primary care; social determinants of health; vulnerable populations; well-child visits.
© 2020 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.