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Child took prescription medicine regularly, 3+ months

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CHNEEDRX3MO identifies sample children who now have a problem for which they have "regularly taken prescription medication for at least three months."


In conjunction with a question about needing but being unable to afford prescription medicine in the past 12 months, the Field Representative's Manual for 1997 defined prescription medicine as "medication which can only be obtained with the approval of a licensed health care professional. The medication is usually obtained through a pharmacy using a written note or telephoned instruction from the health care professional to the pharmacy." In the same context, the Manuals for 1998-2000 provided a similar definition of prescription medicine as "medication which can only be obtained through a doctor or dentist. The medication is usually obtained from a pharmacy or mail order pharmacy using a written note or telephoned instruction from a doctor or dentist." In the Manuals for 2001 forward, the second definition was repeated under the heading "Important Terms" in the section devoted to "Health Care Access and Utilization."

The Manual for 2000 provided a more extensive definition of prescription medicine specifically in conjunction with question for CHNEEDRX3MO:

Prescription medicine is: (1) any medicine obtained on a licensed health care professional's written prescription, (2) any medicine prepared on the basis of a doctor's telephone call to a pharmacist, (3) any medicine, including injections, given by the doctor (or nurse) to the person to take at home or administered in the office, hospital, or clinic. Do not include medicine only recommended by a doctor if no prescription is necessary.

In 2000 only, the Manual also clarified the meaning of "regularly taken," as follows: "Do not count medicine that the sample child is taking for a short term illness, such as taking antibiotics for 10 days for an infection."

None of these definitions were routinely shared with respondents.


This variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 1997-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Sample children under age 18.


  • 1997-2018