A Realist Synthesis of Literature Informing Programme Theories for Well Child Care in Primary Health Systems of Developed Economies

Pankaj Garg, John Eastwood, Siaw-Teng Liaw
2019 International Journal of Integrated Care  
Well-child Care is the provision of preventative health care services for children and their families. The approach, however, to the universal provision of those services is contentious. We undertook a realist synthesis to enhance understanding of the theoretical mechanisms driving Well-child Care by searching for published and grey literature from multiple databases. Well-child Care is re-conceptualised as an integrated program delivered in the continuum of pregnancy, infancy and childhood.
more » ... ending on the context, Well-child Care can be a policy, a strategy, or an actual clinical practice that promotes child and family health. The main mechanisms include: role, training and continuity of health providers; administrators' views of the return of investment on achieved outcomes; access to services by families; and the adaptation of programs to meet the dynamic needs of stakeholders. Evidence indicates that for most outcomes, Well-child Care is best delivered in partnerships between community health, social care, and early childhood education sectors. We conclude that Well-child Care policy and program leaders should shift their focus to the integration of: human and physical resources; policy instruments; and shared agreement on outcomes measures across health, social and education sectors. In addition, countries should work towards strengthening universal early education programs and parents' health literacy regarding child development, health and safety.
doi:10.5334/ijic.4177 pmid:31367204 pmcid:PMC6659757 fatcat:daz6kyownzbfrpr6eago53b6a4