(Effect Of Community Based Management In Failure To Thrive: Randomised Controlled Trial)
Poor weight gain, which is a common problem in young children under the age of two years, has traditionally been managed by hospital doctors. "Failure to thrive" may be due to dietary, organic or social factors and health visitors are usually the first to identify a child's undernourished condition. In this week's BMJ Dr Charlotte Wright and colleagues from Newcastle University and Newcastle City Health Trust suggest that rather than sending these children to hospital, their care should be managed in the community by health visitors with specialist support. Their research has shown that care of undernourished children by health visitors led to significantly better long term weight and height gain than conventional management.
Contact: Dr Charlotte Wright, First Assistant in Community Health, Department of Child Health, Newcastle University, Donald Court House, Gateshead