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ABSTRACT

This quasi-experimental study examined the influence of postpartum home visits on clinic attendance at six-week postpartum appointments. The sample of 82 subjects consisted of two groups from a nurse-midwifery service: 43 clients who gave birth in 1986 and did not receive home visits, and 39 clients who gave birth in 1989 and received one postpartum home visit by their nurse-midwife.

Twenty-five (58%) of the clients who did not receive home visits and 29 (74%) of the home-visited clients kept their six-week appointment; this difference was not significant. However, home-visited clients missed and were rescheduled for fewer six-week appointments than were those who did not receive home visits. After controlling for age and parity, this result remained significant. It is suggested that home visitation enhances a client's “connectedness” with the health care system and thus lessens the number of missed appointments for the six-week postpartum exam. Limitations of the study, implications for practice, and suggestions for future research are presented.