Self-rated health is a common self-reported health measure associated with morbidity, mortality, and health care use. The objective was to investigate the association of family-rated health status (FRH) in pediatric care with administrative indicators, patient and respondent features, and unplanned health services use.


Data were taken from Child-Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys collected between 2015 and 2019 in Alberta, Canada and linked with administrative health records. Three analyses were performed: correlation to assess association between administrative indicators of health status and FRH, logistic regression to assess respondent and patient characteristics associated with FRH, and automated logistic regression to assess the association between FRH and unplanned health services use within 90 days of discharge.


A total of 6236 linked surveys were analyzed. FRH had small but significant associations with administrative indicators. Models of FRH had better fit with patient and respondent features. Respondent relationship to child, child age, previous hospitalizations, and number of comorbidities were significantly associated with ratings of FRH. Automated models of unplanned services use included FRH as a feature, and poor ratings of health were associated with increased odds of emergency department visits (adjusted odds ratio: 2.15, 95% confidence interval: 1.62–2.85) and readmission (adjusted odds ratio: 2.48, 95% confidence interval: 1.62–2.85).


FRH is a simple, single-item global rating of health for pediatric populations that provides accessible and useful information about pediatric health care needs. The results of this article serve as a reminder that family members are valuable sources of information that can improve care and potentially prevent unplanned health services use.

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