University of Oulu

Kujala V, Jokinen J, Ebeling H, et al. Let’s Talk about Children Evaluation (LTCE) study in northern Finland: a multiple group ecological study of children’s health promotion activities with a municipal and time-trend design. BMJ Open 2017;7:e015985. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-015985

Let’s Talk about Children Evaluation (LTCE) study in northern Finland : a multiple group ecological study of children’s health promotion activities with a municipal and time-trend design

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Author: Kujala, Veikko1,2,3,; Jokinen, Jaana1,4; Ebeling, Hanna2,5;
Organizations: 1Primary Health Care Unit, Oulu University Hospital
2Center for Life Course Epidemiology and Systems Medicine, University of Oulu
3Transforming Occupational Health Services, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu
4Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland
5Department of Child Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: BMJ, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-01-10


Introduction: Making change towards child and family-based and coordinated services is critical to improve quality, outcomes and value. The Let’s Talk about Children (LTC) approach, which consists of brief psychoeducational discussions with parents of kindergarten-aged and school-aged children, has been launched as a municipality-specific programme in the Council of Oulu Region. The aim of this paper is to present a protocol of an ecological study evaluating the group-specific effects of an intervention about LTC activities in a geographically defined population. The programme is designed to promote children’s socioemotional well-being.

Methods and analysis: A quasi-experimental ecological study protocol is implemented to evaluate whether systematic LTC practices improve children’s well-being. A multi-informant setting covers 30 municipalities in northern Finland and involves all the municipal teachers, social and healthcare workers. In each municipality, a Local Management Team is responsible for implementing the LTC programme and collecting the annual data of LTC discussions and network meetings. The outcome data are retrieved from child welfare statistics and hospital registers. The population data, child welfare statistics and referrals to hospitals was retrieved at baseline (2014), and will be retrieved annually. Furthermore, the annual data of LTC discussions and network meetings will be collected of the years 2015–2018.

Ethics and dissemination: The study design has been approved by the management of the Oulu University Hospital in accordance with the guidelines given by The Regional Ethics Committee of the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District in Oulu, Finland. All data are treated and implemented according to national data security laws. Study findings will be disseminated to provincial and municipal partners, collaborative community groups and the research and development community. The Let’s Talk about Children Evaluation study databases will guide future regional development action and policies.

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Series: BMJ open
ISSN: 2044-6055
ISSN-E: 2044-6055
ISSN-L: 2044-6055
ISBN Print: 2017
Volume: 7
Issue: 7
Article number: e015985
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-015985
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: The Oulu University Hospital received approximately €250 000 funding for the implementation of LTC services from the member municipalities of the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District and the Council of Oulu Region (European Regional Development Fund). The LTCE study is also funded by the Government Research Funding of Finland.
Copyright information: © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial.