Methodologic challenges in developing and implementing measures of quality for child health care

R. Heather Palmer, Marlene R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective. - To review the major building blocks in measurement of quality for child health care, with recommendations for future research. Methods. - We describe a framework of building blocks for quality measurement and discuss how an investigator's choices for each component are constrained by the special features of child health care. Results. - Methodologic challenges for children's health care include developmental change and dependency on others, fragmentary care and inadequate health care data, unusual care settings, potential for long-term consequences, proxy reporting of outcomes and patient experience, small sample sizes, and lack of evidence that links processes and outcomes of care and of methods for risk adjustment. We cite examples of child-specific measures of quality that illustrate solutions to these challenges. Conclusions. - Children are different from adults, and measures of health care quality for children must differ from those for adults. We suggest future research on measures of quality directed toward overcoming the methodologic problems specific to child health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalAmbulatory Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001


  • Child health services
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Health care quality assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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