Exploring health visiting professionals' evaluations of early parent-infant interactions
Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Taylor and Francis
School of Arts and Humanities
Objective: To examine the accuracy of Health Visitors (HVs) evaluations of the quality of parent-infant interactions.
Background: HVs have been identified as key professionals in the early identification of difficulties in parent-infant interactions.
Method: A sample of 56 HVs, 4 Family Health Nurses (FHNs) and 14 Community Nursery Nurses (CNNs) recruited from two National Health Service (NHS) Trusts, viewed video footage of six early parent-infant interactions which had been categorised as ‘sensitive’, ‘mixed’, and ‘problematic’ using the CARE-Index. Participants evaluated the quality of the parent-infant interactions shown in these videos using the Parent-Infant Interaction Rating Questionnaire (PIIRQ).
Results: On average, participants correctly rated the problematic videos as lowest in quality, the mixed as higher in quality than the problematic videos, and the sensitive videos as highest in quality. Interestingly, within the problematic category participants rated the ‘unresponsive’ pattern of interaction as significantly lower in quality than the ‘controlling’ interaction.
Conclusions: Findings suggest participants were relatively accurate in their evaluations of parent-infant interactions. However, they indicate that participants were more likely to be concerned about unresponsive, as opposed to controlling, interactive behaviours. Recommendations for further research include exploration of potential differences in how health-visiting professionals evaluate particular patterns of parent-infant interactions.