OPEN Research Support

Professor in Child Psychiatry
Anne Mette Skovgaard
National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Open
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 16.08.2021  
Slut 31.03.2023  

Infant Health - Supporting infants' mental health and healthy weight development through community health nurses' promoting sensitive parenting

Short summary

Infant Health is a service-setting based randomized, controlled intervention study aiming to promote parenting of infants with cognitive and regulatory vulnerabilities and improve mental health and healthy weight development in early childhood.


Mental health problems and overweight often co-occur, and they have their origin in early childhood. Previously, the research group behind this study has developed, validated, and implemented a basic program of early mental health prevention, including teaching community health nurses to address infants' mental health and development in their usual routines in the municipalities. This program, the PUF (In Danish Psykisk Udvikling og Funktion) programme has been successfully implemented in several municipalities across the regions of Denmark. Still, though urgently needed, an effective intervention to serve the most vulnerable infants is lacking. Among methods to promote parenting to sensitive infants, the Video-based Intervention to promote Positive Parenting (VIPP), has shown superior effectiveness in several settings, and in theory, the VIPP method is considered to be suited for adaptation to the PUF program and the Danish municipality settings of community health nurses.

Description of the cohort

The study is conducted in 16 municipalities across Denmark. The municipalities are randomly distributed into three clusters in which the participants are recruited to receive care as usual, or the VIPP-PUF intervention, starting at three different time points. Participants are recruited by community health nurses at the scheduled home visit at child age 9-10 months, and all parents of infants identified as vulnerable according to the PUF-program are invited for participation. According to the randomization of municipalities, all recruited families will function as controls and receive care as usual, until the date at which the particular municipality initiates the VIPP-PUF intervention.

Data and biological material

Information on child mental health and development, weight development, and parental experiences of stress are obtained by questionnaires to parents at child age 9-10, 18 and 24 months. Measures of weight at 0-10 months and age 24 months are included from face-to face assessments. Data includes national registers and the Child Health Database. Information on implementation feasibility and intervention efficacy are obtained by interview of parents and health nurses.

Collaborating researchers and departments

The following municipalities: Albertslund, Allerød, Brøndby, Dragør, Egedal, Fredensborg, Gladsaxe, Glostrup, Herlev, Hillerød, Høje-Tåstrup, Kalundborg, Køge, Rudersdal, Roskilde og Vejle.

  • Community health nurses.

Clinical Child and Family Studies Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • Professor Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg.

The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Health Department (VIVE).

  • Senior Researcher Maiken Pontoppidan.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, and Centre of Clinical Research and Prevention, Capital Region, Denmark.

  • Associate clinical professor Else Marie Olsen.

Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.

  • Professor Rodney Stephen Taylor.