Researchers have found that when the health visitor uses video feedback in accordance with the Marte Meo — a method of educational counselling — as part of his/her work with the new mother, it strengthens the relationship between the infant child and the mother.

The study, published in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, underlines that when the health visitor reviews the video clips with the mother and talks about what is working well, this helps to promote the early establishment of relations.

According to the researchers, this has colossal importance for the development of a strong and healthy relationship between mother and child.

“The study documents that the Marte Meo method has a beneficial effect on the relationship between mothers and children. With video feedback, the health visitor can focus on what works, and on what needs support to improve,” said Ingeborg Hedegaard Kristensen from the Section for Nursing at the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University.

For the study, 69 families participated and they had been identified in advance as being particularly vulnerable, either because of a premature birth, an incipient postnatal depression or other conditions which threatened their ability as parents.

During the period, the families received four extra visits from a health visitor with a Marte Meo therapeutic education. At these visits, the mother was video filmed while she was together with her child.

The result showed an improvement in the early mother and child relationship in almost all 69 families who participated in the programme when compared to the 209 families who participated in the control group, the researcher said.

This group received the usual healthcare visits that municipalities make available to vulnerable families.

“Healthy early relationships between parents and children are very, very important for their future health. It is therefore important to know what has the greatest effect, so that help can be quickly provided for those families who need it,” Kristensen mentioned.

The researcher also emphasised that in the field of parenting programmes, thoroughly tested and evidence-based studies in a Danish context are important