A new Wisconsin Medical Journal study published by Dr. Heather Burton and Dr. Dipesh Navsaria found that Reach Out and Read helped enhance clinic morale, increase provider satisfaction, and improve patient-clinician relationships in ten study clinics. Compared to clinicians in control clinics, clinicians in study clinics were more likely to report that they played a large role in promoting literacy and reported having more consistent literacy discussion in visits.
According to the authors:
Many clinicians also said that they use Reach Out and Read as a tool for developmental surveillance and to assess parent-child interactions; family dynamics; the home reading environment; and developmental, motor, and speech delays. One clinician said, “There’s a lot of information verbally and nonverbally that you can get from just putting a book in front of a child.”
This study evaluated the effect of Reach Out and Read on clinic values and attitudes found reliably enthusiastic feedback. While the control sites expressed some anxiety about the time required for training as well as fitting it into the structure of a well-child visit, the study sites (which already had implemented Reach Out and Read) did not mention either as a concern. The only consistent disadvantage reported across both groups was securing and sustaining program funding.
One clinician said, “There’s a lot of information verbally and nonverbally that you can get from just putting a book in front of a child.”
While all clinics reported positive attitudes about literacy promotion in pediatric primary care, the control clinics generally did not articulate specific methods, while the clinics that had already implemented Reach Out and Read were more specific about their approaches and supports with parents around supporting book-sharing.
This may argue for the value of Reach Out and Read’s training and technical assistance efforts with clinics and clinicians. To read the full study, click here.