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Editor,—I am worried by the article by John Dearlove and Su Illingworth.1 The topic is interesting for community paediatricians when many believe the routine checks of the child health surveillance (CHS) programme need justification if they are to continue. Good research to answer the question of whether parental concern is as good as regular professional contact in identifying abnormalities is urgently needed.
This study sample of 538 babies is small. Babies were randomised by practice, making this a cluster randomised trial. The sample size needed to give enough power to detect true differences between the groups runs into several thousands. In addition, 234 mothers (43% of the initial sample) were lost by the …
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