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Parents' expectations and experiences of the 6-week baby check: a qualitative study in primary care

Gilworth, G; Milton, S; Chater, A; Nazareth, I; Roposch, A; Green, J; (2020) Parents' expectations and experiences of the 6-week baby check: a qualitative study in primary care. BJGP Open , Article bjgpopen20X101110. 10.3399/bjgpopen20X101110. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) programme requires all babies to have a comprehensive health-check at 6-8 weeks of age. These are typically completed by general practitioners (GPs). Although person-centred care has achieved prominence in maternity care policy in recent years there is limited empirical evidence on what parents/carers expect from the check, and how far experiences meet their needs. AIM: To explore the expectations and experiences of parents attending their GP for a baby check. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative study in primary care in London. METHOD: Content analysis of transcripts of semi-structured interviews with 16 parents who had recently attended for a 6-week check for their baby. RESULTS: Despite the availability of plentiful sources of general advice on infants' health and development, a thorough check by a trusted GP was an important milestone for most parents. They had few specific expectations of the check in terms of what examinations were undertaken, but even experienced parents anticipated reassurance about their baby's normal development. Many also hoped for reassurance about their own parenting. Parents appreciated: GPs who explained what they were doing during the examination; space to raise any concerns; and combined mother and baby checks. Referrals to secondary care were generally experienced as reassuring rather than a source of anxiety. CONCLUSION: The baby check meets needs beyond those of the NIPE screening programme; protecting the time for a thorough consultation is important for parents at what can be a vulnerable time.

Type: Article
Title: Parents' expectations and experiences of the 6-week baby check: a qualitative study in primary care
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3399/bjgpopen20X101110
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgpopen20X101110
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. This article is Open Access: CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Clinical (general), Occupational health, Patient perspectives, Qualitative research, Research methods
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115142
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