Validating the Safety of Nurse-Health Advocate Services

Authors

  • Karla Witt Nacion R.N.C., C.N.M., Ph.D.,

    1. Karla Witt Nacion is a Clinical Associate Professor and Kathleen Fordham Norr is an Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois. Glenda Morris Burnett is a Community Nurse Specialist, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Cynthia Barnes Boyd is the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Health Services, and Director, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
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  • Kathleen Fordham Norr Ph.D.,

    1. Karla Witt Nacion is a Clinical Associate Professor and Kathleen Fordham Norr is an Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois. Glenda Morris Burnett is a Community Nurse Specialist, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Cynthia Barnes Boyd is the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Health Services, and Director, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
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  • Glenda Morris Burnett R.N., MUPP,

    1. Karla Witt Nacion is a Clinical Associate Professor and Kathleen Fordham Norr is an Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois. Glenda Morris Burnett is a Community Nurse Specialist, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Cynthia Barnes Boyd is the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Health Services, and Director, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
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  • Cynthia Barnes Boyd Ph.D., FAAN

    1. Karla Witt Nacion is a Clinical Associate Professor and Kathleen Fordham Norr is an Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois. Glenda Morris Burnett is a Community Nurse Specialist, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Cynthia Barnes Boyd is the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Health Services, and Director, Division of Community Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
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Address correspondence to Karla W. Nacion, Department of Maternal-Child Nursing (MC 802), College of Nursing, Rm. 822, 845 South Damen Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60612–7350. E-mail: Knacion@uic.edu

Abstract

Prior to promoting the use of community health care advocates for home visits, it is necessary to evaluate their ability to safely screen for health problems. This study examined trained maternal-child health advocates (MCHAs) who, supervised by professional nurses, conducted maternal-child home visits consisting of health promotion and problem identification. Problems identified by MCHAs were compared to problems identified by professional, validating nurses, who were not part of the service project, on hypothetical home visit situations and during 213 duplicate home visits. There were no significant differences between MCHAs and professional nurses in their identifications of infant health problems, infant health care deficits, other family members' health problems, prenatal care deficits, emotional problems, and substance abuse on either the hypothetical home visits or the duplicate home visits. The validating nurses identified significantly more women's health problems (p= 0.01) and women's health care deficits (p= 0.02) than the MCHAs on the duplicate home visits. These findings validate the safety of using the model of trained community health advocates teamed with registered nurses to screen for infant health problems during home visits.

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