The value of a family-centered approach in preventive child healthcare: Monitoring the social-emotional development of infants

Margriet Hielkema

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    A family-centered approach contributes to the quality of Preventive Child Healthcare

    In Dutch Preventive Child Healthcare, a family-centered has been implemented to monitor and enhance children’s social-emotional development. Its main features are consideration of the child's developmental context and empowerment of parents to enhance the child’s developmental context.

    In a quasi-experimental study, the effectiveness of this family-centered approach was assessed. Regions in which the family-centered approach was implemented were compared with "care as usual". The development of more than 5500 infants was monitored from birth until 18 months. Study outcomes were the number and pace of identification of risks for social-emotional problems, the degree to which care was attuned to parents’ needs and wishes, professionals’ opinions regarding the family-centered approach, the validity of the approach, and children’s psychosocial wellbeing at the age of 18 months.

    Results showed that the family-centered approach contributes to more and earlier identification of risks for social-emotional problems and to a better attunement of care to parents’ needs and wishes. Furthermore, professionals appreciated the family-centered approach for enabling empowering communication skills. The validity of the family-centered approach for identifying risk and protective factors was partially supported. There was no effect of the family-centered approach on the psychosocial wellbeing of children at 18 months of age.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Reijneveld, Menno, Supervisor
    • de Winter, Andrea, Co-supervisor
    • Grietens, Hans, Assessment committee
    • Jansen, Carel, Assessment committee
    • Raat, H, Assessment committee, External person
    Award date20-May-2015
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-7759-9
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7758-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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