Stockholm.—Ninety-eight percent of all Swedish infants are regularly checked in well-baby clinics. Within one week after birth, a trained nurse makes a home visit. Children in nurseries, kindergarten, and schools are regularly examined. This has contributed to relatively good physical health. However, the Swedish welfare system has wider ambitions: to help parents meet their child's psychological and social needs. In this respect, we have been less successful. Recent studies have demonstrated that about 25% of all preschool and school-age children have severe and/or multiple psychiatric symptoms that endanger their function and development. Many of these children are overlooked in the somatically oriented health-care system. Some parents are too overwhelmed by depression, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders, alcohol or drug addiction, etc, to be aware of the child's need of love, stimulation, and protection.
In a recent detailed study of 33 primiparas and their full-term babies made at Karolinska Sjukhuset, ten