What Does it Mean to Tailor Support in a lay Health Worker Intervention?: a Qualitative Study

  • F. Hodgins
  • W. Gnich
  • A. Sherriff
  • L. Deas


Childsmile Support Workers facilitate parents with child dental registration and attendance. Their approach is tailored to families’ needs. However the specific actions or strategies involved in tailoring are unclear. This study explores how tailoring is defined, why it is thought to be important and how it is implemented. Focus groups/interviews were conducted with Childsmile stakeholders and service users. Thematic analysis was conducted using the Framework approach in NVivo. Themes relating to the meaning and implementation of tailoring were; ‘taking account of delivery environment’, ‘responding to differing needs’, ‘empowering parents’, ‘considering preparedness for change’, ‘utilising flexible communication strategies’ and ‘developing a relationship’. Tailoring was thought to be important ‘because it is more likely to be effective’, ‘there is flexibility to address specific barriers’ and ‘tailoring promotes engagement’. Understanding if and how tailored support can be implemented lays the foundations for later phases of this project which, ultimately, will lead to a better understanding of how lay health worker interventions can be tailored in order to optimise effectiveness.
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