An evaluation of the adequacy of health visitor education for neonatal hip screening


DrWG Kernohan University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast BT9 7JB Northern Ireland


Congenital dislocation of the hip (CDH) affects two children per 1000, with potentially serious consequences Student health visitors in Northern Ireland learn screening techniques for CDH at a half-day workshop at a regional hospital In order to evaluate the adequacy of this preparation, 71 qualified health visitors were surveyed to assess their knowledge relating to CDH, their views on the adequacy of the training, and their opinions about referral of positive cases Knowledge in some areas was poor and preparation was considered too short Direct referrals of positive cases to orthopaedic clinics, without a general practitioner acting as an intermediary, was a frequently cited desire Recommendations include extending the training for those involved in CDH screening while ensuring that experienced health visitors, from whom novices learn, are themselves using correct procedures