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Baby Counseling

Financial Coaching Boosts Follow-Up Visit, Vaccination Rates for Babies

By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

Coaching new parents with few monetary resources led to better vaccination rates and significantly fewer missed well-care visits, according to researchers who conducted a small pilot study in Los Angeles.

At the Harbor-UCLA pediatric primary care clinic, researchers enrolled 81 parents recruited from waiting areas or exam rooms. Participants were randomized to receive clinic-based financial coaching plus usual care (the intervention group; n = 35) or usual care (the control group; n = 46). Most of the parents were mothers; more than half were Latina.

Financial coaches with social work backgrounds helped parents in the intervention group review monetary goals and how to stabilize their resources. Coaches helped parents find childcare, nutrition assistance, tax preparation services, and other public benefit programs. The social workers followed up with intervention group participants at least monthly.

Among the intervention group, parents made follow-up well-child visits more often, were more likely to keep their babies up to date with the latest vaccinations, and even reported better overall financial standing at the end of the study period compared to parents in the usual care group.

“Once they began receiving the intervention service, many parents shared that they felt supported by their coach. This supportive relationship with that coach as a key new member of their healthcare team may have given parents more motivation to stick with the clinic for their pediatric visits over time,” said Adam Schickedanz, MD, lead study author and assistant professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

For more on this and related subjects, be sure to read the latest issues of Hospital Case Management, OB/GYN Clinical Alert, and Primary Care Reports.