Aim: To introduce the rationale and design of a postnatal risk assessment study, which will be embedded in Preventive Child Health Care. This study will evaluate: (a) the predictive value of an innovative postnatal risk assessment, meant to assess the risk of growth and developmental problems in young children; and (b) its effectiveness in combination with tailored care pathways. Design: This study concerns a historically controlled study design and is designed as part of the Healthy Pregnancy 4 All-2 program. We hypothesize that child growth and developmental problems will be reduced in the intervention cohort due to the postnatal risk assessment and corresponding care pathways. Methods: The study was approved in August 2016. Children and their parents, visiting well-baby clinics during regular visits, will participate in the intervention (N = 2,650). Additional data of a historical control group (N = 2,650) in the same neighbourhoods will be collected. The intervention, consisting of the risk assessment and its corresponding care pathways, will be executed in the period between birth and 2 months of (corrected) age. The predictive value of the risk assessment and its effectiveness in combination with its corresponding care pathways will be assessed by Preventive Child Health Care nurses and physicians in four Preventive Child Health Care organisations in three municipalities with adverse perinatal outcomes. A total risk score above a predefined threshold, which is based on a weighted risk score, determines structured multidisciplinary consultation. Discussion: The successful implementation of this innovative postnatal risk assessment including corresponding care pathways has potential for further integration of risk assessment and a family-centred approach in the work process of Preventive Child Health Care nurses and physicians. Impact: This study introduces a systematic approach in postnatal health care which may improve growth and developmental outcomes of children and even future generations.

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Journal of Advanced Nursing
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

van Minde, M.R.C., Remmerswaal, M., Raat, H., Steegers, E., & de Kroon, M.L.A. (2020). Innovative postnatal risk assessment in preventive child health Care: A study protocol. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 76(12), 3654–3661. doi:10.1111/jan.14547