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What were the outcomes of home follow-up visits after postpartum hospital discharge?

Objectives: To assess health outcomes of home follow-up visits after postpartum discharge and assess relationships between the number of home visits and selected outcomes among women who gave birth at two Queensland, Australia, regional hospitals. Design: A cross sectional study. Services provided during the home visits were responsive to a woman's need rather than having a structured protocol of services. Main Outcome Measures: The four measured health outcomes were: 1) postpartum depression; 2) confidence to undertake maternal roles; 3) breastfeeding; and 4) satisfaction with postpartum care. Results: Of 210 women who were invited to participate in the study, 143 (68.1%) provided information. Women who received a higher number of home visits had significantly lower confidence to undertake maternal roles than those who received fewer home visits. There was a positive correlation between the number of home follow-up visits and postpartum depression among women who gave birth at one hospital (Hospital B), but not at the other (Hospital A). No relationship was found between the home postpartum visits and the other outcomes. Conclusion: These results could be explained in that home follow-up visits were offered to all women at Hospital A while Hospital B only provided home visits to women who had a health risk due to their social, physical and psychological characteristics. The lack of protocol home visits and the characteristics of women receiving the visits were probably the major factors which influenced these limited beneficial outcomes.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

23

Issue

1

Start Page

22

End Page

30

Number of Pages

9

eISSN

0813-0531

ISSN

1447-4328

Location

Melbourne

Publisher

Australian Nursing Federation

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Arts, Health and Sciences; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Australian journal of advanced nursing.

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