Exploring the detection and care of infants with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

Heather Jennings

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) represents a spectrum of anatomic abnormalities in which the femoral head and the acetabulum are aligned improperly or grow abnormally. It is generally acknowledged that the rationale behind screening for DDH is that earlier diagnosis will lead to simpler treatments resulting in better outcomes and minimising the need for open surgery. Additionally, the condition and subsequent treatment for DDH poses significant challenges for parents and impacts on many aspects of parent, child and family lives. To date, there are no national guidelines or algorithms in relation to the screening or management of DDH. The aim of this research was to explore the detection and care of infants with developmental dysplasia of the hip. A mixed methods sequential explanatory design was utilised over three phases. Data collection involved a retrospective chart review (n=372), a survey (n=100), and semi-structured interviews involving parents (n=11) and health care professionals (n=8). Data analysis used the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and semi-structured interviews were subjected to thematic analysis. The study revealed that despite a high late referral and diagnosis rate of DDH in the region, treatment in a specialist consultant led DDH clinic provided successful outcomes. A further significant finding of the study was the general lack of awareness regarding the condition DDH and the lack of hip health related information given to parents. Findings also identified that more formal training is needed by health care professionals to facilitate the development of their knowledge and skills in relation to the examination and screening of DDH. Recommendations include the need for a National Integrated Care Pathway in relation to DDH while also supporting collaboration between Primary and Secondary Care. Consequently, this will promote a family centred approach to how health care professionals practically and psychologically support families through the diagnosis and treatment of DDH. Keywords: Developmental dysplasia of the hip; consultant; parents; health care professionals; late referral; screening; treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Sheahan, Linda, Supervisor
  • Gooney, Martina, Supervisor
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018


  • Hip Dysplasia


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the detection and care of infants with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this