Cohort profile: The 'Children's Health in Care in Scotland' (CHiCS) study-a longitudinal dataset to compare health outcomes for care experienced children and general population children

Mirjam Allik, Denise Brown, Courtney Taylor Browne Lūka, Cecilia Macintyre, Alastair H Leyland, Marion Henderson

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Abstract

Purpose: The Children’s Health in Care in Scotland Cohorts were set up to provide first population-wide evidence on the health outcomes of care experienced children (CEC) compared with children in the general population (CGP). To date, there are no data on how objective health outcomes, mortality and pregnancies for CEC are different from CGP in Scotland. Participants: The CEC cohort includes school-aged children who were on the 2009/2010 Scottish Government’s Children Looked After Statistics (CLAS) return and on the 2009 Pupil Census (PC). The children in the general population cohort includes those who were on the 2009 PC and not on any of the CLAS returns between 1 April 2007 and 31 July 2016. Findings to date: Data on a variety of health outcomes, including mortality, prescriptions, hospitalisations, pregnancies, and Accident & Emergency attendances, were obtained for the period 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2016 for both cohorts. Data on socioeconomic status (SES) for both cohorts were available from the Birth Registrations and a small area deprivation measure was available from the PC. CEC have, on average, lower SES at birth and live in areas of higher deprivation compared with CGP. A higher proportion of CEC have recorded events across all health data sets, and they experienced higher average rates of mortality, prescriptions and hospitalisations during the study period. The reasons for contacting health services vary between cohorts. Future plans: Age-standardised rates for the two cohorts by sex and area deprivation will be calculated to provide evidence on population-wide prevalence of main causes of death, reasons for hospitalisation and types of prescription. Event history analysis will be used on matched cohorts to investigate the impact of placement histories and socioeconomic factors on health.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere054664
Number of pages12
JournalBMJ open
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • community child health
  • public health
  • social medicine

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