Child health services in transition: I. Theories, methods and launching

Authors

  • C. SUNDELIN,

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, Uppsala University
    2. Central Unit for Child Health Care, Uppsala County, Children's Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • M. MAGNUSSON,

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, Uppsala University
    2. Central Unit for Child Health Care, Uppsala County, Children's Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • D. LAGERBERG

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, Uppsala University
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Dagmar Lagerberg, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, Uppsala University, Children's Hospital, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel: +46 18 611 59 73. Fax: +46 18 50 45 11. E-mail: dagmar.lagerberg@kbh.uu.se

Abstract

Abstract

Aim: To describe an evidence-based model for preventive child health care and present some findings from baseline measurements. Methods: The model includes: parent education; methods for interaction and language training; follow-up of low birthweight children; identification and treatment of postnatal depression, interaction difficulties, motor problems, parenthood stress, and psychosocial problems. After baseline measurements at 18 mo (cohort I), the intervention was tested on children from 0 to 18 mo at 18 child health centres in Uppsala County (cohort II). Eighteen centres in other counties served as controls. Two centres from a privileged area were included in the baseline measurements as a “contrasting” sample. Data are derived from health records and questionnaires to nurses and mothers. Results: Baseline experiment (n= 457) and control mothers (n= 510) were largely comparable in a number of respects. Experiment parents were of higher educational and occupational status, and were more frequently of non-Nordic ethnicity. Mothers in the privileged area (n= 72) differed from other mothers in several respects. Experiment nurses devoted considerably fewer hours per week to child health services and to child patients than did control nurses.

Conclusions

: Despite certain differences, experiment and control samples appeared comparable enough to permit, in a second step, conclusions about the effectiveness of the intervention.

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