The aim of the study is to examine the suitability of the Lang II Random Dot Stereotest for use by district nurses in primary healthcare centres. The Lang Stereotest is an inexpensive method. It is easy to apply, but the child's co-operation is required. Approximately 100 district nurses were given detailed information and instruction by an orthoptist prior to a randomized population-based community trial initiated in 1993. In the county of Uppsala in Sweden, all 4293 children born in 1990 were randomized to one of the following four study groups: intervention, control, reliability or validity. All children were followed from birth to 6.5 y of age with respect to the occurrence of strabismus. The kappa statistic for test-retest reliability among district nurses was 0.65 (95% CI, 0.51-0.80). A validation of the outcomes of district nurses' against orthoptists' examinations using the Lang Stereotest showed a sensitivity of 0.33 (95% CI, 0.09-0.65) and a specificity of 0.85 (0.80-0.89). Of 113 cases of strabismus, 53% were detected within the first 3 y of life. Examination of 1132 3-y-old children using the Lang Stereotest enabled the district nurses to detect 11 new cases of strabismus. Only one of these cases was referred to an orthoptist as a direct consequence of the screening. The Lang Stereotest showed low reliability and low validity in this community trial. It is concluded that the Lang II Random Dot Stereotest is not suitable for the screening of manifest strabismus in unselected populations of 3-y-old children in Sweden, where a large proportion of cases of strabismus is detected during the first 3 y of life.
Mothers' benefit of a mass-distributed self-care booklet and a self-care educational session about young children's minor illnesses were investigated. The following questions were studied: (1) Do mothers of infants read and benefit from a self-care booklet? (2) Is the mothers' knowledge about self-care improved more if the booklet is supplemented by a self-care educational session? 265 (92%) of 288 randomly sampled Swedish mothers whose first child was 6-12 months of age were interviewed regarding their knowledge about self-care. Shortly thereafter a self-care booklet was mailed to all households in Uppsala county and 6.5 months later a new group of 572 mothers was randomly sampled. Among the 572 mothers, 332 (58%) were randomized to a self-care session organized at child health centres and 240 (42%) were not invited to a session. Of the 572 mothers, 530 (93%) were later interviewed about the booklet, the session and their knowledge about self-care. 69% participated among the mothers randomized to the session. Among these mothers, 99% recalled the booklet and 96% had read the child care section. Among the mothers not invited to the session, 68% recalled the booklet and 60% had read the child care section. The mothers who had read the child care section would follow the recommendations about when to seek (and not to seek) medical care significantly better than those who had not read it (P less than 0.003).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The objective of this study was to examine the impact of medical professionals in social networks on the use of formal medical care for young children's minor illnesses. 795 Swedish mothers, with only one child 5-15 months of age, were randomly sampled. The mothers were interviewed by telephone and complete interviews were conducted with 92% of them. Of the 795 mothers, 84% had a relative or friend and 24% had a physician or nurse within their social networks whom they could contact for advice and support when their children became ill. No associations were found between the mothers' access to advice and support from medical professionals within their social networks and the number of formal medical contacts for their young children's illnesses. Similarly, no associations were found between the mothers' access to advice and support from lay persons in their social networks and the use of medical services for their children.
To investigate conversations between nurses and parents in Swedish child health services and to assess to what extent attention is directed towards dietary and physical activity behaviours in children.
Twenty-three nurses audio-recorded one session each. Recordings were assessed and topics were classified according to predetermined categories.
The three most frequent topics of conversation concerned physical examinations of the child (30% of session time), talking to the child to establish or maintain contact and interest (15%), and development of language skills (12%). Dietary habits came on fourth place (10%), and physical activity ranked 14 (4%).
Attention to dietary and physical activity behaviours in children is infrequent in Swedish child health services. Concern is raised about the efficacy of prevention efforts against childhood obesity.
Life table methods were applied to analyses of longitudinal data on the use of medical care during the first 5 years of life among all 1701 children born in a Swedish semirural municipality. Cumulative proportions of the children who had used particular types of medical care or prescription drugs at least once by certain ages were estimated. By the fifth birthday, 98% had made at least one visit to any physician and 82% at least one visit to a paediatrician. By the fifth birthday at least one prescription for antibiotics had been purchased at a pharmacy by 82%; and 33% had been admitted to inpatient hospital care at least once (excluding immediate postnatal care). Acute conditions and more chronic diseases were also studied using these methods. At least one visit to a physician at a primary health care centre had been made for acute otitis media in 65% of 5 year olds and for atopic dermatitis in 8%.