Association between health service utilisation of internal migrant children and parents' acculturation in Guangdong, China: a cross-sectional study
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Peng, B., Zou, G., Chen, W., Lin, Y. & Ling, L. (2018) Association between health service utilisation of internal migrant children and parents' acculturation in Guangdong, China: a cross-sectional study, BMJ Open, vol. 8, , pp. e018844,
Objectives To assess the health service utilisation of internal migrant children in Guangdong, China, and to explore the association between children's health service utilisation and their parents' acculturation. Design Cross-sectional survey between April and May 2016. Setting Six society-run schools of Tianhe and Baiyun districts in Guangzhou City of China. Participants We recruited all students at grade 7 or 8 and one of their parents who resided in Guangzhou over 6 months without permanent registered residence (hukou) in Guangzhou (1161 pairs completed this survey). 258 children were ill within the past 2 weeks or during the last year. Main outcome measures The main outcome was self-reported health service utilisation. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to explore the association between children's unmet needs for outpatient or inpatient service and their parents' acculturation (categorised into high, middle and low groups). Results In total, 216 children, or 18.6% of the total subjects, were ill within the past 2 weeks and were in need of outpatient service; 94 children, or 8.1% of the total subjects, were in need of inpatient service. Among them, 17.6% and 46.8% of the migrant children had unmet needs for outpatient and inpatient services, respectively. After controlling for enabling resources and predisposing characteristics, migrant children with parents in the middle-acculturation group (adjusted OR=3.17, 95% CIs 1.2 to 8.3, P<0.05) were more likely to have an unmet outpatient need than high-acculturation or low-acculturation groups, although only statistically significant when comparing with the high-acculturation group. Stratified analysis suggested that this association could be moderated by their family economic status. Conclusions Our study suggested that the association between migrant children's health service utilisation and their parents' acculturation was complex and could be moderated by family economic status. Increasing the service utilisation among migrant children requires improving the acculturation and economic status of the parents of internal migrants.