Nature of the Intervention

The intervention arising from growth monitoring may be quite specific (e.g., the identification and treatment of a particular growth disorder) or it may be more general (e.g., referral to a growth clinic, a dietician, or a feeding station). If the mother is involved, it may alter her view of her child's health and so modify her child care. At the population level, it may affect the allocation of resources (e.g., between regions for malnutrition relief).

If growth monitoring is evaluated in the spirit of the Cochrane Review, the outcome it leads to needs to be quantifiable and objective. Also, the Cochrane Review evidence, such as it is, suggests that growth monitoring in the developing world is ineffective. However, several potential outcomes are too diffuse to quantify (e.g., increased parental interest and education), and this needs to be recognized. The absence of an evidence base in favor of growth monitoring should not necessarily be interpreted as evidence that it lacks benefit. The benefits may simply be too subtle to detect using conventional trials.

See also: Growth and Development, Physiological Aspects. Low Birthweight and Preterm Infants: Causes, Prevalence and Prevention. Malnutrition: Primary, Causes Epidemiology and Prevention; Secondary, Diagnosis and Management. Nutritional Assessment: Anthropometry. Nutritional Surveillance: Developed Countries; Developing Countries. Obesity: Childhood Obesity.

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