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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A WIC-based curriculum to enhance parent communication with healthcare providers

  • Author(s): Guerrero, AD
  • Inkelas, M
  • Whaley, SE
  • Kuo, AA
  • et al.

The objectives describe a curriculum to support parent-provider communication about child development, and to demonstrate its impact and effectiveness when delivered by staff from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). A curriculum was developed by a university-WIC partnership for a WIC center-based health education class to teach parents about child development and how to talk to their child's doctor about development. During a 90-min training session, university pediatricians used this curriculum and trained WIC paraprofessionals to conduct a 20-30 min center-based education session. WIC paraprofessionals completed an on-line survey to obtain their demographic characteristics, and their attitudes and perceptions about the training sessions and their experiences teaching the center-based health education session to parents. Approximately 500 WIC paraprofessionals received the 90-min training session across 60 centers in the Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC Program in Southern California. About 250 WIC paraprofessionals completed the on-line survey and over 80 % of WIC staff reported that they had learned new information about child development as a result of the training, and 87 % of the WIC staff reported that the training was sufficient to feel comfortable teaching the class content to parents. We demonstrated the ability to build WIC paraprofessional capacity to promote parental participation in child developmental surveillance and communication with their child's doctor. With appropriate training, WIC staff are interested in supporting population-based efforts to improve parent-physician communication about child development that can complement WIC's existing maternal and child health topics. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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