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Clinician and early childhood educator knowledge and advice given to parents regarding physical activity, screen time and sleep. An observational study

  • Lyndel Hewitt
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Research Central, Wollongong Hospital, Crown St, Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia.
    Affiliations
    Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong Hospital, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2500, Australia

    Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2522, Australia

    Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2522, Australia
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  • Carolyn Frohmuller
    Affiliations
    Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong Hospital, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2500, Australia
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  • Jacinta Wall
    Affiliations
    Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong Hospital, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2500, Australia
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  • Anthony D. Okely
    Affiliations
    Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2522, Australia

    Early Start, Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2522, Australia
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      Highlights

      • Guidelines regarding infant physical activity, screen time and sleep were released by the World Health Organisation in 2019.
      • Guidelines are only effective if the relevant stakeholders are aware of and implement the recommendation.
      • Participants had a sound knowledge of the guidelines and provided consistent advice.
      • Specific advice and recommendations about screen time were lacking.
      • Professional development to translate the guidelines into clinical and educational practises would be beneficial.

      Abstract

      Background

      Global guidelines regarding infant physical activity, screen time and sleep were released by the World Health Organisation in 2019. Clinician and Early Childhood Educator's knowledge and advice given to parents regarding this content is unknown. The aims of this study were to determine the advice given to parents regarding infant care. This will enable a baseline from which future interventions and multidisciplinary professional development can be compared and reviewed.

      Methods

      80 Clinicians (Medical, Nursing, Allied Health) and Early Childhood Educators from a local health district in NSW Australia completed an online survey. Medical records (N = 272) were also reviewed to determine if the documentation included advice in accordance with guidelines.

      Findings

      Staff were aware that infant guidelines contributes to positive health outcomes (all >85%). Nursing entered the most information into the medical record with >80% of files containing general advice about infant physical activity and sleep. Only 30% of entries contained evidence of guideline specific information. Minimal entries from all clinicians contained information about screen time (2%).

      Discussion

      The majority of clinicians and Early Childhood Educators were aware of the content of the guidelines and the advice they report to provide is consistent. Medical record documentation regarding the specificity of advice provided is lacking.

      Application to practice

      This study provides a baseline from which professional development interventions aimed at increasing compliance to infant guidelines can be compared.

      Keywords

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