CONTEXT: Integrated care models may improve health care for children and young people (CYP) with ongoing conditions.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of integrated care on child health, health service use, health care quality, school absenteeism, and costs for CYP with ongoing conditions.
DATA SOURCES: Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Cochrane Library databases (1996-2018).
STUDY SELECTION: Inclusion criteria consisted of (1) randomized controlled trials, (2) evaluating an integrated care intervention, (3) for CYP (0-18 years) with an ongoing health condition, and (4) including at least 1 health-related outcome.
DATA EXTRACTION: Descriptive data were synthesized. Data for quality of life (QoL) and emergency department (ED) visits allowed meta-analyses to explore the effects of integrated care compared to usual care. RESULTS: Twenty-three trials were identified, describing 18 interventions. Compared with usual care, integrated care reported greater cost savings (3/4 studies). Meta-analyses found that integrated care improved QoL over usual care (standard mean difference = 0.24; 95% confidence interval = 0.03-0.44; P = .02), but no significant difference was found between groups for ED visits (odds ratio = 0.88; 95% confidence interval = 0.57-1.37; P = .57).
LIMITATIONS: Included studies had variable quality of intervention, trial design, and reporting. Randomized controlled trials only were included, but valuable data from other study designs may exist.
CONCLUSIONS: Integrated care for CYP with ongoing conditions may deliver improved QoL and cost savings. The effects of integrated care on outcomes including ED visits is unclear.