These are iHV-involved research papers that have been published:
Development of the Emotional Wellbeing at Work Virtual Programme to support UK health visiting teams (December 2020)
Sharin Baldwin, Rachel Stephen, Philippa Bishop, Patricia Kelly
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way in which health visiting services are delivered in the UK. Health visitors are now having to work more remotely, with virtual methods for service delivery as well as using personal protective equipment where face-to-face contacts are necessary. This rapid change has resulted in many health visiting staff working under greater levels of pressure, feeling isolated, anxious and unsettled. This article discusses a virtual programme that has been funded by the RCN Foundation and developed by the Institute of Health Visiting to support the emotional wellbeing of health visiting teams in the UK. It outlines the background to the project, the theoretical underpinnings to inform the programme model and the evaluation process that will be used to further refine the programme before wider implementation.
Barriers and facilitators to health visiting teams delivering oral health promotion to families of young children: a mixed methods study with vignettes (September 2020)
Sally Weston-Price, Julia Csikar, Karen Vinall-Collier, Philippa Bishop, Donatella D’Antoni, Cynthia Pine
Objective: To explore the potential barriers and facilitators to health visiting (HV) teams delivering oral health promotion during the 9-12-month old child mandated visit in Ealing, England.
Background: HV schemes and their counterparts worldwide share similar priorities to discuss oral health at 6-12 months of age. The HV programme in England stipulates at 9-12 months old, diet and dental health should be discussed. HVs believe dental decay is important however oral health knowledge is varied.
Perceived facilitators: good levels of knowledge and skills, sense of professional role, emotions, belief in capability, organisational structure and resources.
Perceived barriers: gaps in knowledge, conflicting advice from other professionals, conflicting issues for parents/ carers, use of interpreters.
Conclusions: These findings can be harnessed to support oral health promotion delivered by HV teams.
The feasibility of a multi‐professional training to improve how health care professionals deliver different news to families during pregnancy and at birth (February 2020)
Esther Mugweni, Catherine Lowenhoff, Melita Walker, Sabrena Jaswal, Angela Emrys‐Jones, Cheryll Adams, Sally Kendall
Background: In the United Kingdom, pregnant women are offered foetal anomaly screening to assess the chance of their baby being born with eleven different conditions. How health care professionals (HCPs) deliver news about a child having a congenital anomaly affects how it is received and processed by parents. We refer to this news as different news.
Conclusions: The significant improvements in confidence and skills reported by HCPs suggest that the training may be effective in equipping HCPs to minimize the distress, anxiety, and depression associated with receiving different news. This represents a key aspect of the prevention of mental ill health across the life course.
Journal of Mental Health: “I’ll look after the kids while you go and have a shower”: an evaluation of a service to address mild to moderate maternal perinatal mental health problems (April 2019)
Background: Perinatal mental health (PMH) problems are a major public health concern because they may impair parenting ability which potentially has an immediate and long-term impact on the physical, cognitive and emotional health of the child.
Aims: We evaluated a Perinatal Support Service (PSS) which supports positive attachment between mothers with PMH problems and their child, to evidence its impact on maternal mental health and maternal-infant interaction.
Results: We found significant improvement in anxiety after the PSS. Anxiety post service was lower than baseline anxiety. Receiving emotional and practical support contributed to improvements in mental health and mother–child interaction.
Conclusion: Given the paucity of PMH services in the UK, it is imperative that services such as the PSS continue to receive funding to address unmet PMH needs.
Improving the Delivery of Different News to Families by Healthcare Professionals - Report (March 2019)
Esther Mugweni1, Melita Walker1, Samantha Goodliffe1, Sabrena Jaswal2, Catherine Lowenhoff3,
Cheryll Adams1, Angie Emrys-Jones & Sally Kendall1,2
- Institute of Health Visiting
- University of Kent
- Oxford Brookes University
The way healthcare professionals deliver “different news” is an important factor in how it is received, interpreted, understood and processed by parents. The term “different news (DN)” is used in this study to describe the process of imparting and receiving information relating to an unborn or newly born child being diagnosed with a condition associated with a learning disability. Parents may experience a range of emotions immediately after receiving DN including significant distress, fear, grief, depression, anxiety and chronic stress.
Published March 2019
Journal of Health Visiting: Supporting women with eating disorders during pregnancy and the postnatal period
Journal of Health Visiting › May 2018 › Volume 6 Issue 5
Amanda Bye, Nicola Mackintosh, Jane Sandall, Abigail Easter, Melita Walker
Published May 2018
The transition to motherhood can be challenging for many women due to the changes that are common to pregnancy, such as changes in appetite and body shape and weight. These challenges can be particularly pronounced for women with eating disorders. There is growing evidence that eating disorders can be associated with adverse maternal and infant outcomes; and given the elevated risks, early identification and tailored antenatal and postnatal care are highly important. This article examines the role of the health visitor in supporting women with eating disorders during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
Insights from outside BJOG
Published May 2018
Journal of Health Visiting: Implementing a Perinatal Mental Health Champion programme in north-west London
Journal of Health Visiting › April 2018 › Volume 6 Issue 4
Sharin Baldwin, Patricia Kelly, Melita Walker
Published April 2018
The transition to parenthood can be a challenging time for parents and during the perinatal period some parents may experience mental health difficulties. The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) Perinatal Mental Health Champions training programme addresses the fundamental requirements that are necessary for health visitors to manage anxiety, depression and other perinatal mental illnesses, to understand the impact of these conditions on the infant, family and society, and to know when to refer on. This article evaluates the implementation of the training programme in a Trust in north-west London.
Public health Nursing: Knowledge, attitude and practice among Health Visitors in the United Kingdom toward children’s oral health
Oge OA, Douglas GVA, Seymour D,
Adams C, Csikar J. Knowledge, attitude and practice among
Health Visitors in the United Kingdom toward children’s oral
Public Health Nurs. 2018;00:1–8. https://doi.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine knowledge, attitude, and practical behavior of health visitors regarding children’s oral health in the United Kingdom (UK). Methods: A web-based self-administered survey with 18 closed and 2 open ended questions was distributed to a convenience sample of approximately 9,000 health visitors who were currently employed in the United Kingdom and a member of the Institute of Health Visiting.
(PDF) Knowledge, attitude and practice among Health Visitors in the United Kingdom toward children’s oral health. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322659836_Knowledge_attitude_and_practice_among_Health_Visitors_in_the_United_Kingdom_toward_children%27s_oral_health [accessed Jun 19 2018].
Journal of Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics - Vaccination in pregnancy: Attitudes of nurses, midwives and health visitors in England
Bhavita Vishram, Louise Letley, Albert Jan Van Hoek, Louise Silverton, Helen Donovan, Cheryll Adams, David Green, Angela Edwards, Joanne Yarwood, Helen Bedford, Gayatri Amirthalingam & Helen Campbell
Published online: 27 Nov 2017
Objective: To examine amongst healthcare professionals in England; knowledge of vaccinations in pregnancy, their perceived roles in these programmes and whether they recommend scheduled vaccines to pregnant women.
British Journal of General Practice, Health visiting in primary care in England: a crisis waiting to happen?
Rosamund Mary Bryar, Dame Sarah Ann Cowley, Cheryll Mary Adams, Sally Kendall, Nigel Mathers
Published March 2017
When did you last see a health visitor? When did you last communicate with a health visitor? These seem apt questions given the evidence from a recent survey of health visitors by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV); (Working with GPs Survey, unpublished, London, 2016. For further information contact Dr C Adams, Director, iHV). The evidence shows great variability in contact between health visitors (HVs) and GPs in England: of 1179 respondents, 23% of HVs saw a GP at least once a week; 33% 1–2 times a month, and 33% less frequently or hardly ever. In this editorial we review the recent history of health visiting and how, in particular in England, we have arrived at the current situation where HVs, once considered essential members of the wider (non-practice employed) primary health care team (PHCT),1 are now so detached that at a recent meeting (ICCHNR Symposium, University of Kent, September, 2016), a GP could say that they, HVs, are ‘out there somewhere’ but where seemed to be a mystery to him and possibly others.