Family Practice; Studies from L. Rourke et al add new findings in the area of family practice

According to a study from Canada, "The Rourke Baby Record (RBR) - -is a freely available evidence-based structured form for child health surveillance from zero to five years (see also Family Practice). Family physicians/general practitioners (FP/GPs) doing office based well-baby care in three Ontario Canada cities (London, Ottawa, and Toronto) were randomly sampled to study the prevalence and utility of the RBR and documentation of well-baby visits."

"Database with telephone confirmation was conducted to assess the prevalence of use of the RBR. Part 1: Questionnaire mailed to a random sample of 100 RBR users. were utility of, helpfulness of, and suggestions for the RBR. Descriptive analysis was employed. Part 2: Retrospective chart review of well-baby visits by 38 FP/GPs using student t-tests and factor analysis. were well-baby visit documentation of growth, nutrition, safety issues, developmental milestones, physical examination, and overall comprehensiveness. The RBR was used by 78.5% (402/512) of successfully contacted FP/GPs who did well-baby care in these 3 cities. Part 1: Questionnaire respondents (N = 41/100) used the RBR in several ways, and found it most helpful for assessing healthy child development, charting/recording the visits, managing time effectively, addressing parent concerns, identifying health problems, and identifying high risk situations. The RBR was seen to be least helpful as a tool for managing or for referring identified health problems. Part 2: Charts from a total of 1,378 well-baby visits on 176 children were audited. Well-baby care provided by the 20 FP/GPs who used the RBR compared to that by the 18 non-users was statistically more likely to include documentation of type of feeding (p = 0.023), discussion of safety issues (p < p =" 0.001)," p =" 0.097)," p =" 0.828).">

The researchers concluded: "The Rourke Baby Record has become a de facto gold standard clinical practice tool in knowledge translation for pediatric preventive medicine and health surveillance for primary care pediatric providers."

Rourke and colleagues published their study in BMC Family Practice (The Rourke Baby Record Infant/Child Maintenance Guide: do doctors use it, do they find it useful, and does using it improve their well-baby visit records? BMC Family Practice, 2009;10():10).

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