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Nursing research helps improve health, development of Pakistani children by addressing parent interaction

12 January 2021

he extremes of the socio-economic and cultural conditions in a low-to-middle income country like Pakistan may impede a child’s development, contributing to an intergenerational cycle of poverty that limits societal advancement. University of Calgary (UoC) Nursing’s Dr. Nicole Letourneau is building a bridge between Calgary and Karachi to help address risk to these children’s health and development. Dr. Almina Pardhan from the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development, came to UoC in 2019 to receive training from Letourneau in the Parent-Child Interaction Teaching and Feeding Scales, tools that assess parental serve and return. This training was the necessary first step for Pardhan herself to become an instructor. She has since gone on to become the first-ever instructor in serve and return assessment in Pakistan. Serve and return is the interaction between parents and their children where a parent positively responds to a noise, a gesture, a laugh, a cry made by their child through a returned smile, words or look.