Parents’ Adherence to Childhood Screening Tests and Referrals: A Retrospective Cohort Study with Randomized Sampling

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Routine timely examinations of well-child health are important for achieving children’s good health outcomes. Nevertheless, there is evidence of low compliance with well-child visit recommendations. The aim of the study was to examine potential factors associated with parents’ nonadherence to routine childhood screening tests and their acting on further referrals following unusual findings. A retrospective cohort study was conducted among 14,348 children born in 2016–2017 and registered at mother–child health clinics in a large city in Israel. A sample of 844 children was randomly selected. Screening tests at the age of two months and nine months were examined. A multiple logistic regression examined potential factors associated with nonadherence to screening tests and to further referral for evaluation. Lower adherence to screening tests was found among parents of nine-month-old children, but adherence was higher for nurses’ screening tests than for those of physicians. Children born in a complex delivery process, older mothers with a higher number of children, and Israeli citizens were at risk of not undergoing screening tests. Fewer children in the family and initial physician’s findings were the only explanation for acting to referrals. In order to promote children’s health outcomes and public health, health policymakers should conduct campaigns to convince parents of the importance of screening tests and of adherence to referrals with the aim of ensuring their children’s wellbeing throughout the life cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6143
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • parent’s adherence
  • physician/nurse referral
  • screening test
  • well-child visit


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