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Current situation of the demand for health care in neuropaediatrics. Characteristics of consultations and comparison with other paediatric specialties
INTRODUCTION. In recent years it seems we are witnessing an increasing demand for neuropaediatric care. Epidemiological studies are needed to make this demand more widely known and thus promote appropriate management of health care resources. AIMS. To determine what proportion of all visits to the paediatric department in our hospital are neuropaediatric consultations, the annual consultation rate in child neurology per 1,000 inhabitants under 14 years of age, and the characteristics of that consultation (demographic data, reasons for the visit and others).
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We conducted a retrospective, descriptive study on the health care activity of paediatric and neuropaediatric units in a level-II public hospital in the south of Madrid, over the period 2008-2012.
RESULTS. Since our centre opened, the number of paediatric consultations has increased sharply, neuropaediatric visits being the most frequently demanded. In the year 2012 a total of 2,129 patients were seen (718 first visits), with a successive/first visit index of 1.96. Of all the paediatric consultations carried out in the hospital, 23.49% took place in neuropaediatrics. The mean rate of first visits in the period under study was 72.86/1,000 children. The main reasons for the consultation were learning disabilities/conduct disorders (24.1%), followed by headaches (21.9%), paroxysmal episodes (14.8%) and delayed psychomotor development (9%).