Benefits and barriers to well-child care: perceptions of mothers in a rural state

Public Health Nurs. 1998 Jun;15(3):180-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.1998.tb00337.x.


Though preventive health care can be beneficial, many children do not receive regular well-child care. To gain insight into the reasons for the underuse of well-child care, this qualitative study elicited consumers' views by examining how mothers in a rural state perceive well-child care, its benefits, and barriers to obtaining it. Twenty-one women in two Wyoming counties were interviewed about their knowledge and beliefs about well-child care and the care their children had received. Five categories of responses for the definition of well-child care, 10 categories of benefits, and seven categories of barriers were identified. Most of the informants valued well-child as providing maternal reassurance, information, identification of problems, developmental testing, preventive care, and health maintenance, and would obtain the recommended care if the barriers they perceived, such as financial limitations and inconvenience, were removed or reduced. Primary care providers can promote the use of well-child care in numerous ways, including educating consumers on the purposes, benefits, and schedule for preventive care, providing services that consumers value, providing high quality care, and providing cues-to-action to promote consumers to make and keep appointments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards*
  • Humans
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Preventive Health Services / standards*
  • Rural Population*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wyoming