Child health interventions delivered by lay health workers to parents: a realist review

Young, M., Ross, A. , Sherriff, A. , Deas, L. and Gnich, W. (2021) Child health interventions delivered by lay health workers to parents: a realist review. Journal of Child Health Care, 25(4), pp. 628-646. (doi: 10.1177/1367493520983124)

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There is a growing body of evidence that lay health worker (LHW) interventions are a cost-effective model of care which can improve health outcomes and reduce the burden on existing health and community services. Nonetheless, there is a dearth of information to specify which intervention characteristics contribute to their success. This realist review aimed to identify how, why and in what context UK-based LHW interventions aimed at improving child health parenting behaviours can lead to health promoting behaviour and improve child health outcomes. Results show that the ‘peer-ness’ of the LHW role gives parents a sense of equality with, and trust in, LHWs which facilitates continued engagement with interventions and sustained positive behaviour. Training and support is crucial to retention of LHWs, enhancing confidence and perceived value of the role in the context of the intervention. LHW interventions which are embedded within communities as a result of stakeholder buy-in demonstrate stable models of delivery and ease the burden on existing health and community services. In conclusion this review found that LHW interventions can positively influence child health parenting behaviours in certain contexts and provides program theory to inform future development of LHW interventions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sherriff, Professor Andrea and Deas, Dr Leigh and Gnich, Dr Wendy and Young, Dr Mairi and Ross, Dr Alastair
Authors: Young, M., Ross, A., Sherriff, A., Deas, L., and Gnich, W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Journal Name:Journal of Child Health Care
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1741-2889
Published Online:26 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Child Health Care 25(4): 628-646
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
135209Evaluation of West of Scotland Child Oral Health Pilot ProgrammeLorna MacphersonChief Scientist Office (CSO)N/AMed - Dental School