Complete growth measurements are an essential part of pediatric care providing a proxy for a child’s overall health. This study describes the frequency of well-child visits, documented growth measurements, and clinic and provider factors associated with measurement.
Retrospective cross-sectional study utilizing electronic medical records (EMRs) from primary care clinics between 2015 and 2017 in Manitoba, Canada. This study assessed the presence of recorded height, weight and head circumference among children (0-24 months) who visited one of 212 providers participating in the Manitoba Primary Care Research Network. Descriptive and multivariable logistic regression analyses assessed clinic, provider, and patient factors associated with children having complete growth measurements.
Our sample included 4369 children. The most frequent growth measure recorded was weight (79.2% n = 3460) followed by height (70.8% n = 3093) and head circumference (51.4% n = 2246). 67.5% of children (n = 2947) had at least one complete growth measurement recorded (i.e. weight, height and head circumference) and 13.7% (n = 599) had complete growth measurements at all well-child intervals attended. Pediatricians had 2.7 higher odds of documenting complete growth measures within well-child intervals compared to family physicians (95% CI 1.8-3.8). Additionally, urban located clinics (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2-2.5), Canadian trained providers (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.7), small practice size (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.2) and salaried providers (OR 3.4, 95% CI 2.2-5.2) had higher odds of documented growth measures.
Growth measurements are recorded in EMRs but documentation is variable based on clinic and provider factors. Pediatric growth measures at primary care appointments can improve primary prevention and surveillance of child health outcomes.