'Now I understand': consulting parents on chart design and parental information for the UK-WHO child growth charts

Sachs, M., Sharp, L. , Bedford, H. and Wright, C.M. (2012) 'Now I understand': consulting parents on chart design and parental information for the UK-WHO child growth charts. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38(3), pp. 435-440. (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01256.x) (PMID:21668464)

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Background: Regular assessment of growth is an important part of child health surveillance in the UK and most parents are very interested in their child's growth. UK parents are given a personal child health record (PCHR), including growth charts, which are plotted during baby clinic visits. Parents were consulted as part of the process of designing new UK charts to incorporate the World Health Organization growth standard. This paper describes the main themes that emerged and how they influenced the final design. Method: Three sets of consultations with 47 parents were conducted to collect preliminary information, and to evaluate proposed chart designs, instructions and written information for parents. Results: At every consultation, the impact of the depiction of the 50th centile line in bold was mentioned spontaneously by parents. They also found aspects of the charts unclear, including the implications of a recorded weight on any particular centile, the difficulty of understanding existing text about charts in the PCHR, their preference for using pounds and ounces rather than metric weights and confusion about how frequently babies should be weighed. This led to the production of parental information including explanation of these issues which were then tested in two further sets of focus groups. Conclusion: Involving parents in the process of designing growth charts and information influenced the finished design and the text in the PCHR. Ensuring information meets parents' needs is important to ensure successful growth monitoring.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wright, Professor Charlotte and Sharp, Dr Laura
Authors: Sachs, M., Sharp, L., Bedford, H., and Wright, C.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Child: Care, Health and Development
ISSN (Online):1365-2214
Published Online:13 June 2011

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