Caregiver engagement during acute inpatient hospitalizations has been demonstrated to provide developmental and behavioral benefits for children, decrease readmissions and length of stay, and improve caregiver confidence. Caregiver engagement has been examined in acute care settings; however, there is a gap in information regarding caregiver engagement in a pediatric post-acute care hospital (pPACH). The objective of this study was to explore caregiver engagement in a pPACH.


All patients, birth to 23 years of age, in the medical service of an independent pPACH in the Northeastern United States, January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017, were identified. Retrospective review of electronic health records for patient demographics and caregiver engagement, identified as visit(s) and telephone call(s), was conducted. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to distinguish differences and measure associations of caregiver visits and calls between demographic groups.


The primary mode of caregiver engagement for pPACH patients (n = 614) was by visits, whereas caregiver calls were less frequent. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified significantly greater odds of caregiver visits among patients ages 1 to 17 years, with private payer, and having a single admission, whereas lower odds of visits were identified among those <1 year or ≥18 years, with ≥2 pPACH admissions, public insurance, Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement, and African American/Black, other, and unknown race/ethnicities.


Patients who were infants, had ≥2 admissions, had CPS involvement, and were covered under public payer experienced lower caregiver visit rates. Strategies are needed to further identify and address barriers to caregiver engagement.

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