A Needs Assessment Study in Parenting and the Role of Primary Healthcare


Health Promo Service

Polly Wright, Janice Connolly
(May 1998) Birmingham: 26 pages


A Needs Assessment Study in Parenting and the role of Primary Healthcare

To explore experiences and elicit perceptions of parenting with parent groups through the use of drama; to make recommendations for the commissioning of appropriate interventions in this field.

The authors have used drama techniques as a method of qualitative research. Drama is used as a variation of semi-structured interviewing techniques with focus groups. The structure of the sessions is such that participants are encouraged to move in and out of role plays and to reflect on their enacted experiences through discussion. All sessions are video-taped and visual material such as body language and imagery is included in the data. The core study group included 25 parents in Sedgley and Gornal Centre and four GPs. The parents were mainly white women in their 20s and 30s, all of whom had children under the age of five. A further 30 parents and health professionals took part in the discussion after the performance of the play. A limited literature search was also undertaken using the key words 'parents' and 'GPs'.

Introduction; Findings: parents; Discussion; Recommendations; References.

The study used the play 'Christine Goes to the Doctor' with groups of parents and health professionals to raise parenting and general health issues. The audience is introduced to the concerns of both the parent and the doctor through monologues and is encouraged, through discussion and the use of theatre forum techniques, to reflect upon the help for the patient/parent which can be provided within primary health care. Some of the participants in the discussions were then involved in the focus groups in which drama techniques were used to explore the experience of parenting and the role of primary health care. The authors also interviewed GPs and Health Visitors. Findings are presented in two sections: Parenting and Health Professionals. It concludes with points for discussion and recommendations for community based interventions. The findings of this study suggest that further larger scale research in parent/GP perceptions of their experiences of child illness and the role of primary healthcare should be undertaken to quantify the results.

Liz O'Mara, Health Promo Service, Shausters House, Ridge Hill, Brierly Hill Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 5ST Tel: 44(0)1384 244 494 fax: 44 (0)1384 244 337