Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Preventive Care: An Analysis of Routine Physical Examination among Adolescents, 1998-2010

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Routine health care plays a central role in health promotion and disease prevention for children and in reducing health disparities. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of routine physical examination among racially and ethnically diverse adolescents at 5 different time points. The study used data from the Minnesota Student Survey. Measures include frequency of physical examination by race/ethnicity, poverty status, and family structure. The analytic sample included 351 510 adolescents (1998, n = 67 239; 2001, n = 69 177; 2004, n = 71 084; 2007, n = 72 312; and 2010, n = 71 698). There were significant differences by racial/ethnic group at each time point. For example, in 2010, never having a physical examination was reported by 9.2% American Indian, 8.7% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 7.0% Hispanic/Latino, 4.3% Black/African American, 3.7% mixed race, and 2.6% of White respondents (P <.001). Patterns of association emerged when the measure of routine physical examination was stratified by poverty and family structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1338-1345
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by National Research Service Award (NRSA) in Primary Medical Care, grant no. T32HP22239 (Principal Investigator: Borowsky), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by, HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • adolescent health
  • health disparities
  • physical examination
  • preventive care
  • racial and ethnic disparities


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