Evaluation of 'Baby Help', an illness assessment tool for Indigenous infants.
K, Watson1, 2, Young, J1, Barnes, M2.
1 Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
2 University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Queensland Indigenous infant death rates are more than double that of the non-Indigenous population. In 2007-08 Maternity Child Health and Safety Branch, Queensland Health, implemented an assessment tool for parents and carers via the Indigenous Health Worker (ICHW) that was aimed at improving the identification and management of illness in Indigenous infants aged 0-2 years.
To evaluate the process used to implement 'Baby Help' and the effectiveness and value of this tool, as interpreted by the ICHW, for the wider community.
A pre-test post-test survey design was used in a sample of ICHWs and CHWs across Queensland to evaluate current knowledge and practice relating to infant illness management. Focus groups were conducted to obtain further practice information and identify support systems and resources that existed within work environments.
Comparison of paired responses to surveys (n=21) for Health Workers was conducted to determine the impact of the tool on knowledge. Evaluation of strategies used to educate and disseminate the 'Baby Help' tool demonstrated issues relating to distribution and support. The importance of education and support amongst health workers, as well as within the community, were highlighted for the tool's success.
ICHWs and CHWs have a key role in the implementation of health promotion initiatives. Identification of health promotion tools that are appropriate and effective support for their roles will ultimately assist the Indigenous community overall. Elements relating to the implementation of the 'Baby Help' tool will inform future health promotion activities within this population.