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Interventions that enhance health services for parents and infants to improve child development and social and emotional well-being in high-income countries: a systematic review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Samuel Ginja, Dr Raghu Lingam

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. BACKGROUND: Experiences in the first 1000 days of life have a critical influence on child development and health. Health services that provide support for families need evidence about how best to improve their provision. METHODS: We systematically reviewed the evidence for interventions in high-income countries to improve child development by enhancing health service contact with parents from the antenatal period to 24 months postpartum. We searched 15 databases and trial registers for studies published in any language between 01 January 1996 and 01 April 2016. We also searched 58 programme or organisation websites and the electronic table of contents of eight journals. RESULTS: Primary outcomes were motor, cognitive and language development, and social-emotional well-being measured to 39 months of age (to allow the interventions time to produce demonstrable effects). Results were reported using narrative synthesis due to the variation in study populations, intervention design and outcome measurement. 22 of the 12 986 studies identified met eligibility criteria. Using Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) working group criteria, the quality of evidence overall was moderate to low. There was limited evidence for intervention effectiveness: positive effects were seen in 1/6 studies for motor development, 4/11 for language development, 4/8 for cognitive development and 3/19 for social-emotional well-being. However, most studies showing positive effects were at high/unclear risk of bias, within-study effects were inconsistent and negative effects were also seen. Intervention content and intensity varied greatly, but this was not associated with effectiveness. CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence that interventions currently available to enhance health service contacts up to 24 months postpartum are effective for improving child development. There is an urgent need for robust evaluation of existing interventions and to develop and evaluate novel interventions to enhance the offer to all families. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42015015468.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Hurt L, Paranjothy S, Lucas PJ, Watson D, Mann M, Griffiths LJ, Ginja S, Paljarvi T, Williams J, Bellis MA, Lingam R

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2018

Volume: 8

Issue: 2

Online publication date: 08/02/2018

Acceptance date: 22/08/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

URL: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014899

DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014899

PubMed id: 29439064


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