Influential Factors in the Utilization of Early Intervention Services

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The purpose of this study was to examine utilization rates of scheduled early intervention services. Service utilization data reported for 1 week out of every month over a 4-month period were analyzed for a cohort of 146 infants and toddlers. Major findings included: (a) 69% of the families used the majority of their services; (b) child and maternal characteristics were not significantly related to service utilization; (c) providers who were younger and close in age to mothers evidenced significantly higher utilization rates; (d) families in which therapists served as the primary service provider had the lowest utilization rates; and (e) mothers who believed that service decisions should be made by professionals evidenced higher utilization rates. Overall, data reveal that the assignment of a primary $service provider to a family is a critical event in the early intervention experience.

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