Background: Children in foster care are considered at high risk for infectious diseases, and guidelines recommend screening for tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Little is known about the prevalence of infectious disease in children in foster care. Objectives: Describe infectious disease screening practices in a primary care clinic dedicated to caring for children in foster care. Participants and setting: Patients evaluated at a foster care primary care clinic at a southwestern academic center. Methods: Retrospective chart review. Results: From January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018, 2868 unique patients were evaluated (53 % male, 41 % white, 30 % black, 19 % Hispanic); 1638 (57 %) had any infectious disease laboratory screening done. About 50 % of children had completed screens for tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C. Tuberculosis screens were positive in 3.6 % of children, 5.5 % of adolescents were positive for chlamydia and <1 % of children were positive for HIV, syphilis or hepatitis C. Increasing age and number of visits were associated with completed tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C screenings (p < 0.01); female adolescents with completed labs were more likely to be screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia than male adolescents. Conclusions: Few positive infectious disease screenings were identified in children evaluated in a dedicated foster care primary care clinic despite presence of risk factors. Multiple visits to a primary care foster care clinic may increase the likelihood of completed screenings. Targeted infectious disease screening based on age and local epidemiology may be less traumatizing but still clinically appropriate.
- Child welfare
- Foster care
- Laboratory screening
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health