Parent engagement with the New South Wales child health home-based record: a cross-sectional survey and a retrospective chart review

Muhammad Chutiyami*, Shirley Wyver, Janaki Amin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In 2018, World Health Organization endorsed universal use of home-based records to improve care for mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children. New South Wales (NSW), Australia has had universal use of a child health home-based record since 1988, with the first major update in 2013. Since the update, limitedbelief is sufficient for constituting evidence has been collected about factors influencing parent use of the record. This study aims to examine parent engagement with the record and whether it is influenced by child's first-born status and Parent Evaluation of Development Status (PEDS) outcome.

Method: A survey of 202 parent-child pairs and a review of 20 record books were conducted in NSW, Australia. Odds ratio (OR) at 95% confidence interval (CI) and .05 level of significance, bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were conducted to examine the influence of first-born status, child's PEDS outcome and other parent-child characteristics on parent engagement with the record.

Results: Parents engaged with the home-based record by taking it for routine checks (80.7%), writing (74.8%) or reading (75.8%) information. Parents of first-born children were more than three times likely to take the record book for routine checks compared with parent of later-born children (adjusted OR [AOR] = 3.70, 95% CI 1.12-12.20). Similarly, parents of children with low PEDS level of risk were significantly less likely to read information in the record book compared with parents of children with high risk (AOR = 0.28, 95% CI 0.08-0.98). Parent record input through direct observation significantly decreased from 85% at 1-month to 60% at 12-month postnatal. Data about at least one vaccination event were recorded in all the record books examined, while 85% had all recommended vaccinations recorded.

Conclusion: Parents valued/engaged regularly with a child health home-based record, and the record may be a useful tool for early detection and monitoring of child developmental concerns. Therefore, continued promotion of the use of child health home-based record appears to play an important role in improving child health and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number5
Early online date19 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • child health
  • first-born
  • home-based record
  • parent engagement
  • PEDS


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