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BMJ. 2006 Feb 4;332(7536):269-70.

Use of personal child health records in the UK: findings from the millennium cohort study.

Author information

1
Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH. S.Walton@ich.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The personal child health record (PCHR) is a record of a child's growth, development, and uptake of preventive health services, designed to enhance communication between parents and health professionals. We examined its use throughout the United Kingdom with respect to recording children's weight and measures of social disadvantage and infant health.

DESIGN:

Cross sectional survey within a cohort study.

SETTING:

UK.

PARTICIPANTS:

Mothers of 18,503 children born between 2000 and 2002, living in the UK at 9 months of age.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Proportion of mothers able to produce their child's PCHR; proportion of PCHRs consulted containing record of child's last weight; effective use of the PCHR (defined as production, consultation, and child's last weight recorded).

RESULTS:

In all, 16,917 (93%) mothers produced their child's PCHR and 15,138 (85%) mothers showed effective use of their child's PCHR. Last weight was recorded in 97% of PCHRs consulted. Effective use was less in children previously admitted to hospital, and, in association with factors reflecting social disadvantage, including residence in disadvantaged communities, young maternal age, large family size (four or more children; incidence rate ratio 0.87; 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 0.91), and lone parent status (0.88; 0.86 to 0.91).

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of the PCHR is lower by women living in disadvantaged circumstances, but overall the record is retained and used by a high proportion of all mothers throughout the UK in their child's first year of life. PCHR use is endorsed in the National Service Framework for Children and has potential benefits which extend beyond the direct care of individual children.

PMID:
16455721
PMCID:
PMC1360395
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.332.7536.269
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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