Predictors of Frequent Middle School Health Room Use

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ABSTRACT.Disproportionately high use of school health room (HR) services by small groups of users has been reported. This study investigated predictors of frequent HR use in two suburban middle schools involving 1089 students who made at least one HR visit during a single academic year. Subsets of high and low users were compared using logistic regression. Predictor variables included gender, grade, academic ability, and existence of a chronic health condition. Although demographic characteristics of the study schools varied significantly, a pattern of increasing HR use associated with progressive lowering of academic ability was demonstrated in both schools. Existence of a chronic health condition was associated with increased HR use, even when controlling for routine medication visits. Gender and grade were not predictive. These findings suggest that HR use reflects more than medical concerns. Patterns of HR use by students with chronic health conditions deserve additional study to determine whether current strategies to meet their needs are adequate.J Dev Behav Pediatr 14:259–263, 1993. Index terms:school health, health care, utilization.

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