Assessing Child Health and Health Care in the U.S. Virgin Islands Using the National Survey of Children’s Health
By Vladutiu C, Lebrun-Harris L, Carlos M, Petersen D
To characterize the health and health care experiences of children in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), assess differences by household poverty status, and provide comparisons to the general U.S. child population.
Data are from the 2011–2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, which included 2342 USVI children, aged 0–17 years. Parent-reported measures of health status and health conditions, behavioral characteristics, and health care access and utilization were assessed. Weighted prevalence estimates were calculated and compared by household poverty status using Chi square tests.
Overall, 31.3% of USVI children lived in households below 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Children in these low-income households were more likely to have public insurance (33.0% vs. 8.4%) and unmet health needs (11.6% vs. 6.3%) as compared to those in households with incomes ≥ 100% FPL (all p < 0.01). They were also less likely to have a medical home (22.5% vs. 42.2%), including a usual source of sick care (p < 0.01). Compared with U.S. children in general, USVI children had lower rates of preventive medical visits, preventive dental visits, and care received in a medical home.
USVI children experience challenges in accessing and utilizing health care services, particularly those in low-income households, and fare worse than U.S. children on many of these measures. These findings will serve as a baseline comparison for an upcoming survey of maternal and child health to be conducted in eight U.S. territories including the USVI.
July 15, 2019
Vladutiu C, Lebrun-Harris L, Carlos M, Petersen D (2019) Assessing Child Health and Health Care in the U.S. Virgin Islands Using the National Survey of Children’s Health. Maternal and Child Health Journal, Vol.23, Issue 169. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-019-02767-8