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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009 Feb;30(1):91-103. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181976a95.

Healthy Steps: a systematic review of a preventive practice-based model of pediatric care.

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Department of Family Social Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Manitoba Canada.


The preventive role of anticipatory guidance in pediatric practice has gained increasing importance over the last two decades, resulting in the development of competing models of practice-based care. Our goal was to systematically evaluate and summarize the literature pertaining to the Healthy Steps Program for Young Children, a widely cited and utilized preventive model of care and anticipatory guidance, Medline and the bibliographies of review articles for relevant studies were searched using the keywords: Healthy Steps, preventive care, pediatric practice and others. Other sources included references of retrieved publications, review articles, and books; government documents; and Internet sources. Relevant sources were selected on the basis of their empirical evaluation of some component of care (e.g., child outcomes, parent outcomes, quality of care). From 21 identified articles, 13 met the inclusion criteria of empirical evaluation. These evaluations were summarized and compared. Results indicated that the Healthy Steps program has been rigorously evaluated and shown to be effective in preventing negative child and parent outcomes and enhancing positive outcomes. Despite limited information concerning cost effectiveness, the Healthy Steps Program provides clear benefit through early screening, family-centered care, and evidence-based anticipatory guidance. It is recommended that the Healthy Steps program be more widely disseminated to relevant stakeholders, and further enhanced by improved linguistic and cultural sensitivity and long term evaluation of cost effectiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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