Development and piloting of the New Mum Star

Sara Burns and Anna Good, Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise

Triangle has recently published a report of the development and piloting of the New Mum Star, which was conducted in collaboration with a working group of family nurses and other professionals within FNP.

The report includes a description of the process of identifying the need for this version of the Outcomes Star, including discussions with FNP and a review of the literature. It then summarises the steps that were involved in developing the New Mum Star:

1. An initial workshop to draw out information about changes that new mums need to make – and are supported to make – so that their babies have the best possible start in life. This gives information both about the aspects of life in which the new mums make progress and the underpinning process and stages of change

2. Triangle writing the initial version of the new Star and presenting it to a second workshop with the working group, for detailed comment and feedback

3. Making the further changes recommended to create a pilot version and then training family nurses in the use of the new tool with young mums they support, including how to have engaging and empowering conversations and challenge mums as appropriate

4. The pilot period in which the pilot version was completed with over 800 clients. Then a workshop and other meetings to hear how the New Mum Star worked in practice, and gather detailed feedback on each of the scales and the Star overall.

Feedback on the changes needed was quite extensive after this pilot period, including simplifying the scale from 1-10 points to 1-5 to increase accessibility for the young mums completing it and reduce the time needed for the conversation. For this reason, a briefer, second pilot was run as well, before finalising the New Mum Star for publication.

Star readings and questionnaire responses gathered during the pilot period suggested that the tool was acceptable and valid:

Feedback from family nurses and FNP clients:
More than nine out of ten FNP clients agreed that the New Mum Star:
- was a ‘good summary of their life and needs’
- was enjoyable to complete
- ‘helped them to understand what they needed in the way of support’.

All 13 family nurses who completed feedback questionnaires reported that the New Mum Star helped them to:
- ‘get an overall picture of service users’ situations and needs’
- ‘understand where to focus next with service users’

Analysis of Star readings
During the pilot period initial Star readings were completed with just over 800 service users, and 30% had a second reading.

Star readings were skewed towards the higher end of the Journey of Change for most outcome areas, perhaps because many service users had been receiving support for some time and had already progressed along the Journey of Change.

We assessed whether the New Mum Star could detect change amongst those who have room for improvement (i.e. who weren’t beginning at the highest point on the Journey of Change). There was significant change for all outcome areas with the largest improvement for the domains ‘Looking after your baby’, ‘Connecting with your baby’ and ‘Keeping your baby safe.’

Looking at the relationship between readings across the different outcome areas showed that the outcome areas appeared to hang together well as part of one underlying construct. Correlations were within the desired range, with none so high as to indicate overlap between areas.

Read more on the development of the New Mum Star in the FNP ADAPT report.

To learn more about the Outcomes Star tools visit