Joint action between child health care nurses and midwives leads to continuity of care for expectant and new mothers.

Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Center for Family and Community Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being (Impact Factor: 0.61). 07/2012; 7. DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v7i0.18183
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reduction of the duration of postpartum hospital stay in western countries highlights the need for better support and continuity of care for expectant and new mothers. The aim of this study was to investigate strategies to improve continuity of care for expectant and new mothers. The study also aimed to elaborate on a preliminary substantive grounded theory model of "linkage in the chain of care" that had been developed earlier. Grounded theory methodology, which involved multiple data sources comprising structured interviews with midwives and child healthcare nurses (n=20), as well as mothers (n=21), participant observation, and written material, was used. Comparative analysis was used to analyse the data. To achieve continuity, three main strategies, transfer, establishing and maintaining a relation, and adjustment, were identified. These strategies for continuity formed the basis of the core category, joint action. In all the strategies for continuity, midwives and child healthcare nurses worked together. In addition, mothers benefited from the joint action and recognized continuity of care when strategies for continuity were implemented. The results are discussed in relation to the established concepts of continuity.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Australia has a well-accepted system of universal child and family health (CFH) services. However, government reports and research indicate that these services vary across states and territories, and many children and families do not receive these services. The aim of this paper was to explore professionals' perceptions of the challenges and opportunities in implementing a national approach to universal CFH services across Australia. Qualitative data were collected between July 2010 and April 2011 in the first phase of a three-phase study designed to investigate the feasibility of implementing a national approach to CFH services in Australia. In total, 161 professionals participated in phase 1 consultations conducted either as discussion groups, teleconferences or through email conversation. Participants came from all Australian states and territories and included 60 CFH nurses, 45 midwives, 15 general practitioners (GPs), 12 practice nurses, 14 allied health professionals, 7 early childhood education specialists, 6 staff from non-government organisations and 2 Australian government policy advisors. Data were analysed thematically. Participants supported the concept of a universal CFH service, but identified implementation barriers. Key challenges included the absence of a minimum data set and lack of aggregated national data to assist planning and determine outcomes; an inconsistent approach to transfer of information about mothers and newborns from maternity services to CFH nursing services or GPs; poor communication across disciplines and services; issues of access and equity of service delivery; workforce limitations and tensions around role boundaries. Directions for change were identified, including improved electronic data collection and communication systems, reporting of service delivery and outcomes between states and territories, professional collaboration, service co-location and interprofessional learning and development.
    Health & Social Care in the Community 11/2014; · 1.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In Australia, women who give birth are transitioned from maternity services to child and health services once their baby is born. This horizontal integration of services is known as Transition of Care (ToC). Little is known of the scope and processes of ToC for new mothers and the most effective way to provide continuity of services. The aim of this paper is to explore and describe the ToC between maternity services to CFH services from the perspective of Australian midwives and child and family health (CFH) nurses. This paper reports findings from phase two of a three phase mixed methods study investigating the feasibility of implementing a national approach to CFH services in Australia (the CHoRUS study). Data were collected through a national survey of midwives (n = 655) and CFH nurses (n = 1098). Issues specifically related to ToC between maternity services and CFH services were examined using descriptive statistics and content analysis of qualitative responses. Respondents described the ToC between maternity services and CFH services as problematic. Key problems identified included communication between professionals and services and transfer of client information. Issues related to staff shortages, early maternity discharge, limited interface between private and public health systems and tension around role boundaries were also reported. Midwives and CFH nurses emphasised that these issues were more difficult for families with identified social and emotional health concerns. Strategies identified by respondents to improve ToC included improving electronic transfer of information, regular meetings between maternity and CFH services, and establishment of liaison roles. Significant problems exist around the ToC for all families but particularly for families with identified risks. Improved ToC will require substantial changes in information transfer processes and in the professional relationships which currently exist between maternity and CFH services.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 04/2014; 14(1):151. · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: In the Finnish primary health care, relational continuity of care is implemented in integrated maternity and child health clinics where the same nurse takes care of the family from the pregnancy until the child reaches school age. The aim of this study was to clarify the association between this relational continuity of care and the availability, utilisation and selected features of the maternity and child health clinic services, as evaluated by the parents. Methods: A comparative, cross-sectional service evaluation survey was used. Eighteen months after their baby's delivery, mothers (N = 987) and fathers (N = 835) from Southwest Finland evaluated specific maternity and child health clinic services. Comparisons were made between the parents who had relational continuity of care in the integrated maternity and child health clinics and those who did not. Results: Home visits were more frequently provided when relational continuity of care in integrated maternity and child health clinics existed. Parents who had this relational continuity of care, evaluated several features of the service, especially provided support, more positively than parents who did not. Conclusions: Relational continuity of care in integrated maternity and child health clinics seems to increase parents' satisfaction with the services and might increase the provision of home visits.
    International journal of integrated care 10/2014; · 1.26 Impact Factor


Available from