A process evaluation of Promotional Guides used by health visitors to support men’s transition to fatherhood: a qualitative study

S. Baldwin*, M. Malone, J. Sandall, D. Bick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Health visitors play an important role in supporting new parents in their transition to parenthood. A programme known as the Promotional Guide system is used by many health visitors in England with mothers and fathers to support this transition, but there is little known about health visitors’ views of the Promotional Guides, how they are used in practice or barriers to effective implementation with fathers. Aims: The aim of this study was to explore the following: (1) health visitors’ use of Promotional Guides with fathers, (2) health visitors’ assessment of father’s mental health and wellbeing and (3) facilitators and barriers to using Promotional Guides in practice. Methods: A prospective observational cohort study and a process evaluation informed by the Medical Research Council guidance were conducted. A purposive sample of 11 health visitors was interviewed, and an additional seven were observed using the Promotional Guides in practice. Data were analysed using framework analysis. Results: Five main themes were identified from interview and observational data as follows: (1) Enquiry into fathers’ mental health, (2) Promotional Guides in practice, (3) health visitors’ perceptions of the Promotional Guides system, (4) barriers to using Promotional Guides with fathers and (5) facilitators and recommendations for using Promotional Guides with fathers. This study identified a number of barriers and facilitators to the use of Promotional Guides with fathers. Recommendations were made for improving services for first-time fathers, implementing the Promotional Guide system with fathers and highlighting areas for future research. Conclusion: This study considered the acceptability, feasibility and fidelity of using the Promotional Guide programme with fathers from the health visitor’s perspective. The findings provided an insight into health visitors’ experiences of working with fathers, inquiring about men’s mental health needs and their use of the Promotional Guides with men during the perinatal period.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPerspectives In Public Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sept 2022


  • fathers
  • health visitor
  • mental health
  • promotional guides
  • transition to parenthood


Dive into the research topics of 'A process evaluation of Promotional Guides used by health visitors to support men’s transition to fatherhood: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this