Family-centred care in early intervention: Examining caregiver perceptions of family-centred care and early intervention service use intensity

Child Care Health Dev. 2020 Jan;46(1):1-8. doi: 10.1111/cch.12724. Epub 2019 Dec 18.


Background: Family-centred care (FCC) is an approach to paediatric rehabilitation service delivery endorsing shared decision making and effective communication with families. There is great need to understand how early intervention (EI) programmes implement these processes, how EI caregivers perceive them, and how they relate to EI service use. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine (a) parent and provider perceptions about EI FCC processes and (b) the association between FCC perceptions and EI service intensity.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, parent perceptions of EI FCC were measured using the electronically administered Measures of Processes of Care (MPOC-56 and MPOC-SP; using 7-point scales). Participants included EI parents (n = 29) and providers (n = 9) from one urban EI programme (1/1/18-6/1/18). We linked survey responses with child characteristics and service use ascertained through EI records. We estimated parent-provider MPOC score correlations and the association between EI service intensity (hr/month) and parent MPOC scores using adjusted linear regression accounting for child characteristics.

Results: Parents (M = 4.2, SD = 1.1) and providers (M = 5.8, SD = 1.3) reported low involvement related to general information exchange. Parent and provider subscale scores were not correlated except that parent-reported receipt of specific information was inversely associated with provider-reported provision of general information (r = -0.4, P < .05). In adjusted models, parent perceptions related to respectful and supportive (b = 1.57, SE = 0.56) and enabling (b = 1.42, SE = 0.67) care were positively associated with EI intensity, whereas specific information exchange and general information exchange were not associated with intensity.

Conclusion: We found that EI parents and providers reported high levels of investment in the family centredness of their EI care, with the exception of information sharing. Greater EI service intensity was associated with higher perception of involvement with some metrics of family centredness.

Keywords: caregiver perceptions of care; child development; early intervention; family-centred care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making, Shared
  • Early Intervention, Educational / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Professional-Family Relations