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The Baby Check booklet did not affect frequency of health service use in infants ≤6 months of age

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 QUESTION: In mothers with infants ≤6 months of age, does the distribution of the booklet Baby Check (an illness scoring system) affect their use of health services?


Randomised (allocation not concealed*), blinded (practitioners),* controlled trial with 6-month follow-up.


13 practices (53 general practitioners, 4400–11 000 patients per practice) in southeastern Glasgow, Scotland.


997 mothers (mean age 29 y, 45% primiparous) who had babies (53% boys, 95% full term) born during a period of 14 months. Participants were excluded if physicians thought that mothers or babies were too sick for inclusion or if mothers did not speak English. Only the first child of a multiple birth was included. Follow-up was 94%.


After stratification by practice, participants were allocated to the …

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  • Source of funding: Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Office Department of Health.

  • For correspondence: Dr H Thomson, MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK. FAX +44-(0)131-650-2681.

  • * See glossary.