Teaming Up to Promote Early Positive Parenting Practices | #parenting | #childsecurity | #kidprotection

In a recently released issue of Pediatrics(10.1542/peds.2020-1799), Dr. Erin Roby and colleagues describe a randomized controlled two-site clinical
trial that tests a unique pediatric-practice based interactive video-taped intervention.
This Video Interaction Project (VIP) is the universal primary prevention strategy
component of a broader project called Smart Beginnings, designed to prevent school
readiness disparities. This paper describes results of VIP, conducted through 6 months
of age in pediatric practices in New York City and Pittsburgh PA. The targeted secondary/tertiary
prevention strategy of Smart Beginnings called Family Check-up, which involves home
visiting of at-risk families, is described for completeness but results are not included.
Both the paper and the summary on explain the larger project succinctly;
again, here the authors focus on VIP.

If you remember the excellent teaching modules from Reach Out and Read, the child literacy project born in 1989 at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical
Center), you will have a good feel for VIP. In those modules, pediatricians were filmed
introducing a book to a child, while engaging the parent in the process. In VIP, at
each pediatric visit in the well-care setting, a trained developmental specialist
spends time with the parent discussing the child’s development, provides an age appropriate
toy or book, and briefly video-records their interaction. The specialist then immediately
reviews the video with the parent, noting positives and strengths in the interaction;
the parent gets a copy of the video, a personalized pamphlet with developmental milestones
and suggestions for age-appropriate play, and goals for interacting with their child
at home. How great is that? Given the positive results the authors have identified
in so many parent-child domains just at the 6 months point after 4 sessions (see the
paper, especially under “Assessment of Cognitive Stimulation and Parent-Child Interaction”),
I am eager for further results and also am dreaming of a way to make this happen at
our practice.

The project’s over-arching goal is to promote parenting quality and school readiness.
The intervention is intended for low-income families for whom disparities in school
readiness are prevalent. Clearly figuring out an approach to VIP that is financially
sustainable and logistically feasible in the practice setting will not be simple,
but in my mind will be immensely worthwhile.   Thanks to this group of researchers
for thinking broadly and intervening thoughtfully with their research, which offers
so many potential opportunities for pediatricians to make a difference.

Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics

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