Supporting multiple birth families: Perceptions and experiences of health visitors

Nathalie Turville, Lara Alamad, Jane Denton, Robert Cook, Merryl Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


To explore the current practice and perceptions of health visitors in supporting multiple birth families.

Design and sample
Practicing health visitors across the United Kingdom were invited to complete a cross-sectional, descriptive, online survey. The questionnaire covered multiple birth caseload, education received about multiples and the experience of working with families. Two-hundred and ninety health visitors completed the questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for analysis of the quantitative components and thematic analysis for the qualitative data.

Most health visitors had twins on their current workload. Most health visitors had not received any specific training or continuing professional development regarding the needs of multiple birth families. Supporting the families within the confines of reduced time and increased workload was challenging. Daily tasks of caring for multiples were the main areas that health visitors and parents wanted more information about.

In the United Kingdom, health visitors are uniquely positioned to support multiple birth families, in particular during the more challenging early years. However, the findings of this study suggest that many health visitors are aware that the care and support that they are able to provide multiple birth families falls short of meeting their needs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number1
Early online date10 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the Burdett Trust for Nursing for the funding in support of this study, Dr Cheryll Adams and the Communications Team from the Institute of Health Visiting and the health visitors for taking the time to complete the survey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Public Health Nursing published by Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Nursing
  • twins
  • triplets
  • multiple births
  • public health nursing
  • families
  • health visiting
  • parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)


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