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Preventive health care among children of women with schizophrenia: a population-based cohort study

Taylor CL, Brown HK, Saunders NR, Barker LC, Chen S, Cohen E, Dennis CL, Ray JG, Vigod SN. J Clin Psychiatry. 2023; Mar 1 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI:

Objective — To compare well-baby visit and vaccination schedule adherence up to age 24 months in children of mothers with versus without schizophrenia.

Methods — Using administrative health data on births in Ontario, Canada (2012–2016), children of mothers with schizophrenia (ICD-9: 295; ICD-10: F20/F25; DSM-IV schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder) (n = 1,275) were compared to children without maternal schizophrenia (n = 520,831) on (1) well-baby visit attendance, including an enhanced well-baby visit at age 18 months, and (2) vaccine schedule adherence for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B (DTaP-IPV-Hib), and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR). Cox proportional hazard regression models were adjusted for each of maternal sociodemographics, maternal health, and child health characteristics in blocks and all together in a fully adjusted model.

Results — About 50.3% of children with maternal schizophrenia had an enhanced 18-month well-baby visit versus 58.6% of those without, corresponding to 29.0 versus 33.9 visits/100 person-years (PY), a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.82 (95% CI, 0.76–0.89). The association was dampened after adjustment for maternal sociodemographics, maternal health, and child health factors in blocks and overall, with a fully adjusted HR of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.84–0.98). Full vaccine schedule adherence occurred in 40.0% of children with maternal schizophrenia versus 46.0% of those without (22.6 vs 25.9/100 PY), yielding a HR of 0.86 (95% CI, 0.78–0.94). The association was dampened when adjusted for maternal sociodemographics and child health characteristics and became nonsignificant when adjusted for maternal health characteristics. The fully adjusted HR was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.87–1.04).

Conclusions — Increased efforts to ensure that children with maternal schizophrenia receive key early preventive health care services are warranted.