Use of home visit and developmental clinic services by high risk Mexican-American and White Non-Hispanic infants

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Maternal and Child Health Journal


Objective: To investigate whether US-born infants of mothers of Mexican descent who were enrolled in Arizona's Newborn Intensive Care Program (NICP) received follow-up services (developmental clinic and community health nurse [(CHN)] home visits) at the rates similar to White non-Hispanic (WNH) infants. Socio-economic and health status characteristics were controlled using stepped regressions in order to assess the impact of each on service use. Methods: This population-based study used retrospective data from the NICP administrative database that were linked to birth certificates for years 1994-1998. The study population was limited to Arizona-born infants; it included 7442 infants of WNH mothers, 2612 infants of US-born Mexican American (MA) mothers and 2872 infants of Mexico-born mothers. Four service use indicators were used in the analysis. Results: Both Hispanic infant subgroups were less likely to have a CHN visit by 6 months and by 1 year, and to average fewer CHN visits. A smaller percent attended the developmental clinic by age one. After controlling for language, demographics, health status, socio-economic characteristics, and mothers' prenatal care use, infants of US-born MA mothers had rates of use similar to WNH. However, even after controlling for the study variables, infants of Mexico-born mothers were less likely (OR =.83) to use the developmental clinic. Hispanics continued to lag behind in the use of services compared with WNHs. The disparity is not a function of ethnicity, but appears attributable to demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Infants who had a CHN visit were significantly more likely (OR = 2.51) to use the developmental clinic than those without a nurse visit. Infants whose mothers had inadequate prenatal care were less likely to use these follow-up services even after controlling for study variables. Conclusions: Infants whose mothers had inadequate prenatal care should be targeted for more intense CHN visits. Infants of mothers born in Mexico may need additional support/assistance in using the developmental clinic. © Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005.

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