September 9, 1998
Dear Public Health Nursing Colleagues:
We are two nursing consultants who have been contracted by the British Columbia Ministry for Children and Families (in Victoria, Canada) to review "Developmental Screening Tools" in relationship to the role of public health nursing. We are interested in hearing from other public health regions across Canada and elsewhere regarding what your organization is doing in this area.
Specifically we have been asked by the Ministry to do the following:
a) prepare an inventory of developmental screening tools used by public health nursing in BC and other jurisdictions including growth charts;
b) search for, retrieve and review articles/documents regarding evidence based practice around developmental screening and develop criteria for analyzing tools; analyze data; and
c) write a draft report for review by the contract manager and key stakeholders.
Our report is to contain references to relevant literature, particularly any that supports effective PHN practice; and conclude with recommendations. We planned to have the final report by mid-November.
To assist us in the completion of this review we wonder if you could answers to the following information before or by the end of September:
1. What are you using in the way of developmental screening tools in your health region or organization?
2. If you are not could you let us know your rationale for not using them?
3. If you are, what, if any, policies, procedures or protocols do you have in place regarding the use of the tools?
4. Is the use of the tool(s) included as part of the Public Health Nurse's orientation process and/or have the tools been incorporated as an in-service, continuing education programs? In any other way(s)?
5. Do Public Health Nurses use more than one developmental screening tool?
6. How is the use of these tools in practice determined?
7. Do you have an evaluation plan (or follow up) in place to help to assess the use of these tools?
8. How are these tool(s) used (i.e., with a targeted population e.g., entire age group in population or is it used on referral bases only)?
9. Do you have a follow-up policy or plan if (when) a delay in screening is identified?
10. Has your region or organization reviewed the issue of (0-6 year) population screening in relationship to public health nursing practice? If so, do you have a report that you would be able to share with us?
11. Any other comments or suggestions?
We are also interested in hearing if anyone is currently researching this area and/ or if you know of others public health nurses doing research in the area of developmental screening for the 0-6 age population group. (Please note as mentioned earlier, we are specifically interested as it relates to the role of the public health nurse).
We also would welcome suggestions of other names and respective email addresses so that we could broaden our scanning process. Therefore, please feel free to pass our email along to other nursing colleagues working in this area.
Although our questions are specifically targeted to the practice of public health nursing, we are also interested in hearing from nurse researchers and educators as well. Please indicate in your response if you wish to have a copy of our findings once our report has been completed.
Thank you and we appreciate your assistance.
Mollie Butler and Joan Geber
[This message has been edited by bshort (edited 09-09-98).]