Parent priorities for research and communication concerning childhood outcomes following preterm birth.
Ginnell L, Boardman JP, Reynolds RM, Fletcher-Watson S. Parent priorities for research and communication concerning childhood outcomes following preterm birth. Wellcome Open Res. 2021;6:151. doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16863.2
What was found?
We found that parents of children who were born preterm want to receive information about the potential consequences of prematurity for development and learning when their child is still a baby. However, not all parents want this so flexibility should be offered to individual families. Parents feel that it is important to highlight the potential for positive progress and the benefits of early intervention and support when discussing challenges that their child might face. Parents feel that health visitors and educational professionals are not well informed about the consequences of prematurity for development and learning.
What we did?
Parents of children born preterm from around the UK were asked to complete a survey about their attitudes and preferences around research and communication about potential long-term outcomes of preterm birth.
What are the implications?
Opportunities for conversations between parents and doctors should be offered early on and in a flexible way. Doctors should work with parents to offer flexibility in the timing and format of delivery of information about long-term outcomes. These findings are important as they help doctors to make decisions about when and how to communicate with parents. They indicate how the quality and breadth of support parents and children can access could be improved through training for key professionals including health visitors, early years educators, and teachers.