Are parent-held child health records a valuable health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Muhammad Chutiyami*, Shirley Wyver, Janaki Amin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    46 Downloads (Pure)


    Parent-held child health record (PHCHR), a public health intervention for promoting access to preventive health services, have been in use in many developed and developing countries. This review aimed to evaluate the use of the records toward promoting child health/development. We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar to identify relevant articles, of which 32 studies met the inclusion criteria. Due to considerable heterogeneity, findings were narratively synthesised. Outcomes with sufficient data were meta-analysed using a random-effects model. Odds Ratio (OR) was used to compute the pooled effect sizes at 95% confidence interval (CI). The pooled effect of the PHCHR on the utilisation of child/maternal healthcare was not statistically significant (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 0.92–1.88). However, parents who use the record in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) were approximately twice as likely to adhere to child vaccinations (OR = 1.93, 95% CI 1.01–3.70), utilise antenatal care (OR = 1.60, 95% CI 1.23–2.08), and better breastfeeding practice (OR = 2.82, 95%CI 1.02–7.82). Many parents (average-72%) perceived the PHCHR as useful/important and majority (average-84%) took it to child clinics. Health visitors and nurses/midwives were more likely to use the record than hospital doctors. It is concluded that parents generally valued the PHCHR, but its effect on child health-related outcomes have only been demonstrated in LMIC.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number220
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • child health
    • maternal and child health
    • parent-held record
    • effectiveness
    • parent views
    • child outcomes


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