ObjectiveTo describe characteristics and outcomes of Group Well-Child Care programs and provide recommendations for future research.MethodsInformed by Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, an electronic references database, manual search of bibliographies and peer-reviewed journals, and general Internet search were conducted including research published up to July 2019. English language, peer-reviewed research, with provision of medical care were included. Studies without published outcomes, not specific to well-child care, or included only one visit were excluded. Nineteen articles met review criteria. Study quality was assessed using the Downs and Black tool for rigor.ResultsPrograms typically included an individual medical examination, check-in, and group discussion. Demographics varied by race, ethnicity, age, income level, education and parity, though many were used specifically with underserved populations. Group size ranged from 3 to 10 and lasted an average of 1.5 h over a period of 6–24 months. Evidence suggests group well-child care is as effective as individual care with improvement noted for health-care utilization, weight outcomes, and more content covered. Design elements such as patient-led discussion, self-check-in, inclusion of other family members, and use of a variety of health care professionals and para-professionals may influence these outcomes.ConclusionsGroup well-child care is useful in providing efficient and patient-centered care and shows promise for use in underserved populations. Future research should utilize more rigorous study design and include evaluations of program components and group processes to address implementation challenges and determine effectiveness.
Maternal and Child Health Journal – Springer Journals
Published: May 7, 2021