Development of materials to support parents whose babies cry excessively: findings and health service implications.
Dyson, Sue E.
St James-Roberts, Ian
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AbstractAim: To develop evidence-based materials which provide information and support for parents who are concerned about their baby's excessive crying. As well as meeting these parents' needs, the aim was to develop a package of materials suitable for use by the UK National Health Service (NHS). Background: Parents report that around 20% of 1-4 month-old infants in western countries cry excessively without apparent reason. Traditionally, research has focused on the crying and its causes. However, evidence is growing that how parents evaluate and respond to the crying needs to receive equal attention. This focus encompasses parental resources, vulnerabilities, wellbeing, and mental health. At present, the UK NHS lacks a set of routine provisions to support parents who are concerned about their baby's excessive crying. The rationales, methods and findings from a study developing materials for this purpose are reported. Method: Following a literature review, 20 parents whose babies previously cried excessively took part in focus groups or interviews. They provided reports on their experiences and the supports they would have liked when their baby was crying excessively. In addition, they identified their preferred delivery methods and devices for accessing information and rated four example support packages identified by the literature review. Findings: During the period their baby cried excessively, most parents visited a health service professional and most considered these direct contacts to have provided helpful information and support. Websites were similarly popular. Telephones and tablets were the preferred means of accessing online information. Groups to meet other parents were considered an important additional resource by all the parents. Three package elements - a Surviving Crying website, a printed version of the website, and a programme of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-based support sessions delivered to parents by a qualified practitioner, were developed for further evaluation.
CitationLong, Jaqui and Powell, Charlotte and Bamber, Deborah and Garratt, Rosemary and Brown, Jayne and Dyson, Sue E. and St James-Roberts, Ian (2018) Development of materials to support parents whose babies cry excessively: findings and health service implications. Primary Health Care Research & Development .
JournalPrimary Health Care Research & Development