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Child health records: adult viewpoints

Hill, M. and Morton, P. (2003) Child health records: adult viewpoints. Child: Care, Health and Development, 29 (3). pp. 173-179. ISSN 0305-1862

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The teenage years have been identified as an important time to influence attitudes and behaviour likely to affect current and future health. The child health profile was developed partly to provide appropriate health information to young people aged 10 and older, but was also intended to recognize their right to assume greater responsibility for their health records. It was seen as an extension of the popular parent held record for younger children. A Scottish child health profile was introduced through schools in three health board areas. Data about usage and views were obtained from children and relevant adults by means of questionnaires. In this paper, the perspectives of parents, health professionals and teachers are reported. The majority of the adults were keen on the idea of the profile in principle. However, most parents knew little about it, even though all their children had been issued with one. Teachers had little involvement with the profile and the majority of health professionals had some doubts about its application. The adults indicated that a small number of children made effective use of the profile, but information from both adults and children indicated that it was seldom discussed during consultations with health professionals, few of whom routinely asked to see it. The paper outlines implications for the provision of health information and records for this age group.