Improving physical health and wellbeing outcomes for children
Title: Interventions for parents and families: the evidence for improving physical health and wellbeing outcomes for children
Author: Parenting Research Centre
Commissioned by: The Benevolent Society
Published: March 2016
This Evidence Brief reports on the findings of a rigorous review of systematic reviews. It looked at seven high-quality systematic reviews reporting on the impact of parenting and family support interventions and home visiting on child physical health and wellbeing. It found limited evidence relating to the impact of interventions on fine and gross motor skills only — no systematic reviews were found reporting on the impact of interventions on physical readiness for school and physical independence.
- There is limited evidence to suggest that home visiting programs improve fine and gross motor skills in infants and young children: results from systematic reviews found no improvements in these outcomes. Three individual studies reported some improvements; however, the quality of this evidence is limited.
- There is early evidence from a single review that interventions for parents of premature infants can improve psychomotor development in the short-term (at 12 months of age), however the improvements diminished by the age of 24 months.