5287.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 4:30 PM

Abstract #7444

An "Ideal" Public Health Nurse Home Visit: Consumers' Expectations

Betty E. Kaplan, MPH, RN, Junie Svenson, BA, MPH, and Penny A. Hatcher, MSN, DrPH. Division of Family Health, MCH Section, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882, 651 281-9889, betty.kaplan@health.state.mn.us

Traditionally public health nursing programs are directed to target groups at risk for adverse health outcomes. Refusal and under-utilization of services by those who are identified "at risk" impacts public health's ability to eliminate health disparities. Minnesota Healthy Beginnings (MHB), a state-funded program, offers home visits to all expectant parents and families with newborns in a geographic area for the purpose of strengthening families and promoting positive parenting. The time surrounding childbirth is a vulnerable period for parents. Offering home visits to all families at a point in time when they are receptive to new information and support is an important strategy in eliminating health disparities. This approach avoids the stigmatization often associated with home visiting only those families identified as "in need" or "at risk", thereby making it more acceptable to receive supportive home visiting services. In order to develop strategies for promoting acceptance and use of the MHB program, twelve focus groups with expectant parents and families with infants were held in metropolitan and rural areas. Parents from a range of racially, culturally and socioeconomically diverse groups provided important information on the content of the "ideal" home visit; desirable characteristics of the home visitor; timing of the visit; the messages that they want and need the home visitor to convey; and, approaches for encouraging program participation. Highlights of the focus group findings will be presented as well as implications for public health nurses who reach out to and provide services for families from diverse backgrounds.

Learning Objectives: 1)Describe 2 important messages that new parents want to receive during public health nursing home visits. 2)List 2 strategies cited by consumers that public health nursing programs can use to promote acceptance of home visits. 3)Describe the consumers'expectations of the "ideal" home visit

Keywords: Home Visiting, Public Health Nursing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA