Assessing mothers' attitudes about the physician's role in child health promotion

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health



Document Type



Adult; *Attitude to Health; *Child Welfare; Child, Preschool; Female; *Health Promotion; Humans; Massachusetts; Mothers; *Physician's Role; Questionnaires


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine | Primary Care


OBJECTIVE: This study assessed maternal attitudes about the physician's role in child health promotion.

METHODS: Home interviews were conducted with 200 Massachusetts mothers (with one child age 2 to 3 years) enrolled in a health maintenance organization.

RESULTS: Mothers chose growth and nutrition, physical development, and illness as the most important topics and felt that providers have the ability to prevent problems and to help. Psychosocial and safety issues were less important, although mothers felt susceptible to these issues and believed they greatly affected children's health.

CONCLUSIONS: On all issues, mothers believed physicians were more effective in helping families after, not before, problems arose. The Health Belief Model provided insight into attitudes and possible interventions.

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Citation: Am J Public Health. 1996 Dec;86(12):1809-12.

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Link to article in PubMed

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