The function of home visits in maternal and child welfare as evaluated by service providers and users



This study looks at how public health nurses and clients of maternal and child welfare clinics evaluate the function and meaning of home visits Another concern is with the options available to the service user The data were collected during November and December 1992 from a total of 203 health centres across Finland, responses were obtained from 263 public health nurses and 323 clients The results are presented in the form of frequencies, percentages and cross tabulations According to the results, the clients felt that the most important function of home visits was to have a competent professional examination of the newborn They also attached much importance to the information function, i e learning about the growth and care of small children The public health nurses, on the other hand, felt that the most important function of home visits was to support and encourage parents and to ensure the continuity of care The advantages of meeting in the client's home environment were equally stressed by both sides By contrast, clients and public health nurses had very different views on the options available to the client Almost all nurses said that the client can freely choose between home visits and visiting the clinic, however, only about half the clients felt they could choose the service they best preferred