Childhood experience and health care use in adulthood: Nested case-control study

Navneet Kapur, Isabelle Hunt, Gary Macfarlane, John McBeth, Francis Creed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Few studies have considered the role of childhood experiences in adult health care use. Aims: To examine the hypotheses that individuals frequently attending primary care report childhood adversities and illness exposures more commonly than the remainder of patients and that any association is independent of adult psychiatric disorder. Method: A nested case-control study was carried out in a single general practice in Manchester, UK. Fifty frequent attenders (randomly selected from adult patients in the top decile of consultation frequency) and fifty normal attenders (randomly selected from the remainder of adult patients) underwent a structured psychiatric interview and a detailed, semistructured interview of childhood experience. Results: There was a strong association between frequent attendance and childhood experiences. Multivariate analysis suggested that reported childhood illness exposures and reports of childhood adversity were each associated independently with adult consultation behaviour, even after adjustment for adult psychiatric disorder. Conclusions: Interventions for high users of health care may need to address childhood experiences of illness and childhood adversities, as well as adult psychiatric disorder.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-139
    Number of pages5
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


    • Adult
    • Aged
    • Case-Control Studies
    • Child
    • England
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Life Change Events
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Parent-Child Relations
    • statistics & numerical data: Patient Acceptance of Health Care
    • Regression Analysis
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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