Context. The benefits of continuity of pediatric care remain controversial.

Objective. To determine whether there is an association between having a continuous relationship with a primary care pediatric provider and improved quality of care by parental report.

Design. Cross-sectional study.

Setting and Population. Seven hundred fifty-nine patients presenting to a primary care clinic completed surveys, which included validated measures of provider and clinic quality of care from the Consumer Assessment of Health Plan Survey.

Main Exposure Variable. A continuity of care index that quantifies the degree to which a patient has experienced continuous care with a provider.

Main Outcome Measures. The likelihood of parents reporting quality of care as high in several provider- specific items including reporting that providers respected what they had to say, treated them with courtesy and respect, listened to them carefully, explained things in a way they could understand, and spent enough time with their children. In addition, participants were asked to rate the overall quality of the clinic and their child’s provider on a 10-point scale.

Results. In ordered logistic regression models, continuity of care was associated with statistically significantly higher Consumer Assessment of Health Plan Survey scores for 5 of the 6 items, including feeling that providers respected what parents had to say; listened carefully to them; explained things in a way that they could understand; asked about how their child was feeling, growing, and behaving; and spent enough time with their child. In addition, greater continuity of care was associated with a higher clinic rating, as well as a higher provider rating.

Conclusions. Greater continuity of primary care is associated with higher quality of care as reported by parents. Efforts to improve and maintain continuity may be warranted.

You do not currently have access to this content.