A mixed-methods systematic review identifying, describing, and examining the effects of school-based care coordination programs in the US on all reported outcomes

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Prev Med. 2021 Oct 15:106850. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106850. Online ahead of print.


Children learn best when they are healthy. Therefore, access to school-based health and providing family support for social needs play an essential role in shaping a child’s ability to succeed academically. The purpose of this mixed-methods review, which considers studies with all methods, is to describe and examine the effect of US school-based care coordination programs on all the outcomes reported. Care coordination is an organized approach to connect families to resources in the community to address social needs. The literature search identified 260 papers published since 2012 through CINAHL, ERIC, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Social Sciences Full Text, and Web of Science, from which 11 were included that described a US school-based care coordination program. An a priori organizing framework: Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation were used to organize the findings. Whether quantitative or qualitative, all evaluation results were transformed into qualitative texts, then converted into codes then themes. Various health and learning issues such as asthma and vision screening were addressed. More than half of the care coordination programs were nurse-led. Parents and students characterized care coordination activities as convenient, trusting, and perceived to improve parent-teacher engagement. They also enhanced asthma knowledge and management, immunization adherence, follow-up care for vision and hearing, mental health, and school attendance. Nevertheless, challenges included staff shortages, unmet family needs, privacy laws regarding student data, and lack of resources (i.e., medications). This review highlights the need to expand school-based care coordination programs in the US and conduct robust program evaluations to assess their effectiveness.

PMID:34662597 | DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106850