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A cluster randomised controlled trial of “Bookstart+”: a book gifting programme

A cluster randomised controlled trial of “Bookstart+”: a book gifting programme Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a free book gifting programme, called “Bookstart+”, in improving family reading outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – Bookstart+ consists of a pack of books and reading materials provided to families at their two‐year‐old child's statutory health visit. The pack is accompanied by a short priming demonstration, delivered by the health visitor, on shared reading. The evaluation took the form of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) with 460 families from the client lists of 115 health visitors. Findings – The study found evidence of: a positive significant effect on parents’ attitudes to reading and books (Cohen's d =+0.192, p =0.034); no significant effect on parental attitudes to their child reading ( d =+0.085, p =0.279); and a negative effect, approaching significance, on public library usage ( d =−0.160, p =0.055). Research limitations/implications – The attrition rate was high, with only 43.9 per cent of the target families completing all of the research. However, this level of attrition did not lead to any significant differences between the control and intervention groups on their pre‐test measures. Practical implications – The study provides recommendations for free book gifting service provision in relation to pack contents and delivery. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the limited international RCT evidence on free book gifting programmes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Children's Services Emerald Publishing

A cluster randomised controlled trial of “Bookstart+”: a book gifting programme

Journal of Children's Services , Volume 9 (1): 13 – Mar 12, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1746-6660
DOI
10.1108/JCS-05-2013-0021
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a free book gifting programme, called “Bookstart+”, in improving family reading outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – Bookstart+ consists of a pack of books and reading materials provided to families at their two‐year‐old child's statutory health visit. The pack is accompanied by a short priming demonstration, delivered by the health visitor, on shared reading. The evaluation took the form of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) with 460 families from the client lists of 115 health visitors. Findings – The study found evidence of: a positive significant effect on parents’ attitudes to reading and books (Cohen's d =+0.192, p =0.034); no significant effect on parental attitudes to their child reading ( d =+0.085, p =0.279); and a negative effect, approaching significance, on public library usage ( d =−0.160, p =0.055). Research limitations/implications – The attrition rate was high, with only 43.9 per cent of the target families completing all of the research. However, this level of attrition did not lead to any significant differences between the control and intervention groups on their pre‐test measures. Practical implications – The study provides recommendations for free book gifting service provision in relation to pack contents and delivery. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the limited international RCT evidence on free book gifting programmes.

Journal

Journal of Children's ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 12, 2014

Keywords: Randomised controlled trial; Free book gifting; Shared reading; Bookstart

References