ABSTRACT Objective This research identified the possible factors influencing the ability of mothers perceived to be at the highest risk for child maltreatment to engage in a home visitation program. This study holds significance to public health nursing since home visitation is an integral component of public health nursing practice, with engagement being essential for human interaction and thus nursing care to occur.
Design and Sample A qualitative descriptive design was used to offer a thematic summary of the experiences of program engagement from the perspective of 4 home visitation coach interventionists from health-related fields and a small sample of purposefully selected mothers involved in a longitudinal prevention study.
Results Qualitative content analysis revealed 3 major themes related to engagement: (1) mothers struggle to meet the emotional needs of the self and the child; (2) mothers lack support in navigating complicated and stressful life events; and (3) mothers' consistency with program engagement is mediated through a trusting and caring relationship with coaches.
Conclusions Home visitation coaches in this study demonstrated a continuous process of engagement by supporting mothers to explore and discover self-care strategies and ways to navigate life struggles. Over time, a foundation of trust and caring was developed, which in turn increased relationship building and program engagement.