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These are iHV-involved research papers that have been published:

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.

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.

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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.

Esther Mugweni1, Melita Walker1, Samantha Goodliffe1, Sabrena Jaswal2, Catherine Lowenhoff3,
Cheryll Adams1, Angie Emrys-Jones & Sally Kendall1,2

  1. Institute of Health Visiting
  2. University of Kent
  3. 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 › 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.

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.

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.

Published 2018

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: [accessed Jun 19 2018].

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.

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.