Researchers at the National Centre for Population Health & Wellbeing Research, funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, have launched a study to help inform how to improve health, education and wellbeing for all children in Wales.
The Born in Wales study will develop the evidence for families, health care professionals and policymakers on how to best support families to give children the best start in life.
Expectant mums and partners will be asked to complete an online questionnaire about their health, wellbeing and lifestyle, which will take about 15 minutes. The survey will include questions about employment, experiences of services received, health and wellbeing and other background information such as age, and ethnicity.
Linking data to examine the impact of health conditions
The research team will anonymously link participant’s answers to health and education records. Linking to health records will mean that researchers can examine the impact conditions like asthma or epilepsy have on families from pregnancy to the early years and beyond. This can help to inform services, such as schools and health care providers as to what support and help are most needed and most beneficial.
The team are especially keen to hear from families if one or both parents have a medical condition such as asthma, MS, arthritis, depression or heart disease.
Charlotte Todd, Early Years Researcher at the Centre for Population Health, said: “We are reaching out to pregnant mums and their partners across Wales to take part in this important research by completing the short online questionnaire. Taking part in this study can help improve our understanding of the impact the way we live life today has on the health and happiness of families and help direct help and support to where it is most needed.”
Professor Sinead Brophy, Director of the Centre for Population Health, added:
“Health, wellbeing and family life during pregnancy and in the first year of life, can impact on future health and wellbeing of our children. Supporting good maternal health and positive development during the first year can set the foundations to give babies the best start in life.
We hope that results from the study will help inform new interventions, policy and practice in Wales that will support a child’s health, wellbeing and education through into adulthood.”
Professor Kieran Walshe, Director of Health and Care Research Wales, said:
“Research has an important role to play in ensuring people have access to the most beneficial health and care provision from early years right through to later life. The Born in Wales study is a key step in understanding the type of support needed by families, which can then help to inform decisions about services.”