Pediatric Complex Chronic Conditions: Does the Classification System Work for Infants?


Pediatric Complex Chronic Conditions: Does the Classification System Work for Infants?


Lindley L C; Fortney C A


The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care




infant; complex chronic conditions; chronic disease; hospital patient; end-of-life; Caucasian; health care cost; serious illness; human; article; child; controlled study; attention; comorbidity; palliative therapy; prevalence; infants; African American; hcup kid; insurance; neonates; regression analysis


BACKGROUND:: One widely accepted approach to identify children with life-limiting health problems is the complex chronic conditions (CCCs) classification system. Although considered the "gold standard" for classifying children with serious illness, little is known about its performance, especially among infants. OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS:: This research examined the prevalence of CCCs and the infant characteristics related to a CCC classification. METHOD(S):: Multivariate regression analysis was conducted with 2012 Kids' Inpatient Database, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project data files, using a national sample of infant decedents less than 1 year. RESULT(S):: Our findings showed that 40% of the infants were classified with a CCC. African Americans were negatively associated with a CCC classification (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.543-0.731). When infants had other insurance coverage, they were less likely (aOR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.537-0.748) to have a CCC classification. Infants who resided in nonurban areas (aOR = 1.21; 95% CI =1.034-1.415) and had comorbidities (aOR = 38.19; 95% CI = 33.12-44.04) had greater odds of having a CCC classification. CONCLUSION(S):: The findings suggested that the infants are not commonly classified with a CCC and highlighted the significant variation in race with African American infants exhibiting different CCC classifications than Caucasian infants. Given the importance of reducing disparities in palliative care, critical attention to using CCC classifications in research is warranted.

Citation List Month

June 2019 List



Lindley L C; Fortney C A, “Pediatric Complex Chronic Conditions: Does the Classification System Work for Infants?,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 26, 2021,

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