June 2021

Volume 38, Issue 2

Parents’ experiences of participating in health-promoting activities at a family centre for preschool children in Sweden

Authors: Anita Alm Lena Ljungkrona Falk Tove Wold Bremer Gabriella Idholt Malin Gustafsson Eva-Karin Bergström
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00150Alm05

Abstract

In Sweden, the family centre is a meeting place for families in a neighbourhood. It is a place for families to meet and exchange experiences and is a confidence-filled place for preschool children to play and develop. The staff at the family centre collaborate on early prevention strategies to promote health. Since 2014, the Public Dental Health Service in Södra Ryd, Skövde, has been a collaborative partner with the family centre. Objectives: To explore and describe the parents’ experiences of participating in health-promoting activities at the family centre. Basic research design: A qualitative design based on interviews, analysed using a phenomenograpic approach. Participants: Six focus groups with two to six participants in each group. Results: Three themes, all describing parents’ experiences of visiting the family centre, emerged in the analysis. The themes were as follows; “Social fellowship”, “A secure place” and “A learning environment”. Each theme contained three categories, which represent the parents’ different conceptions. Conclusions: The present study showed that the parents who visit the family centre found that the collaboration is perceived as positive and has many benefits. The participants found that the family centre is an institution that increases social interaction. Furthermore, meeting dental professionals in an arena outside the clinic creates confidence and makes people feel secure. Parents also learn both from the staff and from each other. According to these findings, the family centre is a suitable arena to work on health-promotion activities. Keywords: family, health promotion, preschool children, phenomenography, family centre

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