Project Details


This exploratory study will adopt a mixed methods approach to evaluate the use of RealCare baby infant simulation dolls to ascertain if they give added benefits in terms of parenting capacity.

Participants will be expectant parents (mothers and fathers who are aged 18 years and over) where there is a safeguarding concern for their unborn child. Purposive sampling will be used to recruit parents, who fulfil the inclusion criteria, via an NHS Trust in the South East England. Participants will be provided with a pre-programmed RealCare baby infant simulation doll for up to one week duration to help prepare them for forthcoming parenthood – appropriate pre-education and training will be offered in terms of the handling of the doll.

Quantitative data will be collected from the pre-programmed RealCare baby infant simulation dolls to assess the participants’ parenting capacity in terms of, for example, feeding, changing and comforting the doll. Qualitative data will be collected via individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews to gain insight into the parents’ perceptions of the value of the dolls in terms of enhancing their caring skills and preparing them for parenthood.

Following their participation, all parents will be offered any required support and advice, primarily via the referral to relevant professionals – this will aim to further facilitate a positive transition to parenthood. The findings will be used to inform practice as well as the development of future research bids.
Short titleSimulation
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/07/24


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