Qualitative evaluation of South Carolina's Postpartum/Infant Home Visit program.
Many states have introduced home visitation programs to improve the health of mothers and newborn infants. In South Carolina, the Postpartum/Infant Home Visit (P/IHV) program seeks to provide all Medicaid-eligible mothers and infants with at least one home visit by a nurse or other qualified health professional. In the summer 2002, the authors conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the P/IHV program using both qualitative and quantitative methods. This article describes the qualitative methods and findings from the larger study. Focus groups were held with nurses who provide P/IHV visits to gain insight into the structure and functioning of the P/IHV program, to hear firsthand the nurses' experiences with the program, and to provide guidance in developing the empiric model for measuring cost-benefit. Analysis of the focus-group data suggests that what actually occurs during a home visit is fairly standardized. Nurses indicated that they were knowledgeable about community resources and services available to the families they serve. Referral processes were identified as an important factor in determining whether a mother receives a home visit. Overall, the nurses felt that the home visit program has had a positive impact on the health and well-being of the mothers and infants served.
Wager, KA; Lee, FW; Bradford, WD; Jones, W; Kilpatrick, AO
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