Promoting Children's Long-Term Health and Functioning: Applying a Life Course Approach to Pediatric Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Life Course Theory (LCT) takes into account variations in timing, timeline, environment and equity in experiences and exposures across individuals and populations—and examines the impact on health throughout life. Life course science has been embraced by health researchers, public health agencies, health policy experts, health care providers and leading academics in the U.S. and abroad. However, the translation of LCT to actual pediatric practice and systems has been slow to take hold in any organized way. Promoting life course implementation in pediatric care for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) requires a life course implementation framework specifically designed by and for this constituency, with the goal of helping pediatric practices define and become life course practice settings. As a first step in moving toward such a framework, this report outlines key themes identified through a literature review and interviews and consolidates them into six action areas for pediatric practices.