Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


James Rohrer


Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) generally have physical, mental, or emotional conditions that require a broader range and greater quantity of health and related services compared to typical children. Care coordination (CC) and family-centered care (FCC) are necessary in the quality of health care for CSHCN. A gap exists in the literature regarding the impact of CC and FCC on children's functional ability (FA). Previous researchers have focused on met and unmet health care needs, but not on health outcomes or functionality. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was an association between CC, FCC, and FA in CSHCN. The design of this study was a secondary analysis of data from the 2005--2006 National Survey of CSHCN. The study was guided by an adapted socioecological multilevel conceptual framework. Statistical methods included univariate, bivariate, and multiple logistic regression analysis. Results indicated that CC was associated with FA in CSHCN. CSHCN that did not receive CC had a 53% increased risk (OR =1.53, 95%CI 1.21--1.94, p < 0.001) for a limitation in FA compared to CSHCN that received CC, controlling for age, gender, number of conditions, household poverty level, parental educational level, and health insurance. FCC was not associated with a limitation in FA in CSHCN ( p = 0.61). Findings from this study were consistent with the socioecological multilevel framework and the literature on care coordination. This study contributed to positive social change by providing information that can be used by public health officials, health care providers and policy makers in developing policies to assure that care coordination is provided to CSHCN and their families in order to improve their health outcomes and functionality.