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Centering Parenting: Meeting the needs of parents. J. Cyne Johnston, PhD and Cheryl MacLeod, RN MEd. Outline. Group Parenting Programs Centering Parenting Centering Parenting within AHS Development Implementation Evaluation Future Plans. Transitions. Traditional One-to-One Support.

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centering parenting meeting the needs of parents

Centering Parenting: Meeting the needs of parents

J. Cyne Johnston, PhD and Cheryl MacLeod, RN MEd

  • Group Parenting Programs
  • Centering Parenting
  • Centering Parenting within AHS
    • Development
    • Implementation
    • Evaluation
  • Future Plans
key concepts for group care
Key Concepts for Group Care


Client and Provider Satisfaction

Peer Support


Family Centered Care

Capacity Building

group parenting interventions
Group Parenting Interventions
  • Short-term improvement in parental depression, stress, confidence and anxiety (Barlow, et al. 2012)
  • Early support for improvement of child emotional and behavioural adjustment (Barlow et al. 2012)
other supporting work
Other Supporting Work
  • Peer Support for improving breastfeeding duration

(Jolly et al. 2012, Renfrew et al. 2012)

  • Early evaluation work from other Centering Parenting programs shows some signs of improved maternal BMI
centering parenting
Centering Parenting

A model of group care for well-woman and well-baby

  • Health assessment
  • Education
  • Peer and Professional Support
  • Immunization
each 2 hour session
Each 2 hour session

30- 45 minutes Check-in and individual assessments with the provider

45-60 minutes Formal “circle-up” or facilitated discussion time

30-45 minutes Vaccinations and informal socialization

Closing and follow-up as needed

provider assessment
Provider Assessment
  • Each dyad has an

individual assessment with the health provider

  • Normal triage done
  • Questions are saved for the group session
key elements of centering parenting
Key Elements of Centering Parenting
  • 8 parent/infant dyads and 2 PHN facilitators
  • All activities occur within the group space
  • The group is conducted in a circle
  • Each session has an overall plan with core content; emphasis may vary depending upon the needs of the group
  • Group members are involved in self-care activities, weighing, examining, assessing infants and selves.
  • Opportunity for socializing within the group is provided
  • There is on-going evaluation of outcomes
paradigm shift
Paradigm Shift

Traditional Care

Group Care


Shared ownership of health

More time for education, shared with all

Opportunity for socialization, peer-to-peer support

  • Directive
  • Expert-led
  • Education random and provider dependent
  • Few opportunities for socialization with others
centering parenting project within ahs
Centering Parenting Project within AHS

Stage 1

  • Received a $10K grant from the Alberta Centre for Child, Family, and Community Research
  • Development of the universal program and content
      • Focus groups with parents, PHNs, parenting experts
      • Adaptation and integration of U.S. Centering Parenting curriculum
      • Development of research proposal
adapting to local context
Adapting to local context
  • Curriculum
  • Vaccination delivery system
  • Public health nursing led
  • Visit time points: 1,2,4,6,9,12 months
what have we learned so far
What have we learned so far…


“I didn’t have a support network: other mothers who were feeling the same things I was feeling.”

“The most valuable component is connecting with other parents.”

what have we learned so far1
What have we learned so far…

PHNs were excited about a new model of providing care and having additional opportunities for professional growth.

parenting experts
Parenting Experts

There was considerable support from local parenting and child development experts

“[The program] has really good adult learning principles and parenting education practices as well… It’s fabulous.”

“I really think that it’s only getting them there once. Once you get them to [the group] they’re hooked. I truly believe that.”

centering parenting calgary zone
Centering Parenting Calgary Zone

Stage 2- Current Work

  • Received grant from the Alberta Centre for Child, Family, and Community Research
  • Funding for: Staff training and a feasibility study of Centering Parenting for 32 parent/infants in 2 locations
  • Recruiting now!!! Intervention to begin November 2013
research questions for the feasibility study
Research Questions for the Feasibility Study

Is it feasible to implement a Centering Parenting group intervention In the Alberta context?

How do the pilot results compare to pre-intervention measures, available local data, and/or established norms?

centering parenting calgary zone1
Centering Parenting Calgary Zone

Research Methodology

  • 2 communities selected for pilot – 1 urban (East Community Health Centre) and 1 suburban/rural (Airdrie)
  • Two groups will be run concurrently at each site
  • 7-8 mother/infant dyads recruited in each group (28-32 in total)
  • Families will attend 6 X 2 hour sessions (@1,2,4,6,9,12 months)
centering parenting calgary zone2
Centering Parenting Calgary Zone

Data Collection Tools, Measures, Health Indicators

Maternal BMI Program costs

Child growth Qualitative interviews

Social support

Postpartum depression

Parenting moral index

Parent and clinician satisfaction

Parenting stress

Breastfeeding initiation/duration

centering parenting calgary zone3
Centering Parenting Calgary Zone

Stage 3 – Future Work

  • Randomized Trial
  • Additional external funding will be sought if the pilot is acceptable to PHNs, parents, AHS.
shift in practice
Shift in Practice
  • Moving from directive to facilitative
logistical issues
Logistical Issues
  • Physical space for a group that’s appropriate for groups of parents and infants
  • Scheduling and shift changes
  • Recruitment of parents
provincial and international interest
Provincial and International Interest

Considerable interest from:

  • Alberta Health
  • Centering Healthcare Institute
  • Other Alberta Health Services Zones
  • Primary Care Networks
key points
Key Points
  • Early parenthood is a time of great transitions
  • Group parenting programs have the potential to provide an effective intervention to improve the health of children, parents, and families
  • There is demand for a group well-child visit among parents, PHNs, and parenting experts
  • Centering Parenting Pilot is ready for implementation in 2 Calgary-area sites
special thanks to project team
Special Thanks to Project Team
  • Cheryl MacLeod
  • Donna Wallace
  • Shelly Philly
  • Deborah A. McNeil
  • Germaeline van der Lee
  • Kaitlyn Hill
  • Joanne Coldham
  • Sandy Phillips
  • Lynn Headley
special thanks
Special Thanks
  • Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research
  • Alberta Health Services
  • University of Calgary
contact information
Contact Information

Cyne Johnston

Cheryl MacLeod