The Conundrum of Measuring Children’s Primary Health Care
Rocco I., Corso B., Luzi D., Pecoraro F., Tamburis O., Hoang U., Liyanage H., Ferreira F., De Lusignan S., Minicuci N.
Evaluating primary care for children has not before been undertaken on a national level, and only infrequently on an international level, an adultfocused perspective is the norm. The Models of Child Health Appraised (MOCHA) project explored the evaluation of quality of primary care for children in a nationally comparable way, which recognises the influence of all components of child well-being and well-becoming. Using adult-focused metrics fails to account for children’s physical and psycho-social development at different ages, differences in health and non-health determinants, patterns of disease and risk factors and the stages of the life course. To do this, we attempted to identify comparable measures of child health in the European Union and European Economic Area countries, we aimed to perform a structural equation modelling technique to identify causal effects of certain policies or procedures in children’s primary care and we aimed to identify and interrogate large datasets for key tracer conditions. We found that the creation of comparative data for children and child health services remains a low priority in Europe, and the largely unmet need for indicators covering all the healthcare dimensions hampers development of evidencebased policy. In terms of the MOCHA project objective of appraising models of child primary health care, the results of this specific work show that the means of appraisal of system and service quality are not yet agreed or mature, as well as having inadequate data to fuel them.