259918 Public health nurse decision-making and at-risk postpartum case closure

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Denise Thompson, MSN, PHN, RN , Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Background: Public health nursing emerged as an autonomous nursing specialty in New York City (Frachel, 1988). Present day public health nurses (PHNs) continue to provide maternal-child health home visitation services. Regional public health nursing departments implement protocols which guide the frequency and duration of PHN home visitation services. However, individual PHNs also make individual decisions regarding the length of services to their clients. Premature termination of services has the potential to negatively impact final case outcomes. There are few studies reporting the factors that affect PHN decisions related to final dispositions of home visitation services in at-risk postpartum populations.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to better understand the factors which result in termination of PHN home visitation services to at-risk postpartum clients. Electing to continue or discontinue home visiting services to a client has a final effect on the provision of these services and subsequent final case outcomes. It is anticipated that a better understanding of these factors may contribute to overall process improvement of PHN home visitation services to at-risk postpartum women.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive study design as described by Sandelowski is proposed (Sandelowski, 2000 & 2010). A purposive sample of public health nurses who provide home visitation services to at-risk postpartum clients will be recruited. Data collection will consist of individual, semi-structured interviews with the PHNs.

Results: Data collection is currently in progress and data analysis is expected to be finalized by August, 2012.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Identify three factors associated with a public health nurse decision to terminate home visiting services to an at-risk postpartum client.

Keywords: Home Visiting, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of the study summarized in the abstract. This research study is a part of my dissertation and is being conducted with guidance from my university faculty dissertation committee.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.