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Do we need the health visitor in the clinic?

By Caroline M.C. Plews and R. Bryar


NoObjectives: A review of the literature reveals little description of the advisory role of the health visitor in the child health clinic. This paper describes a study which examined content, clients' recall and value to the client of their discussion with the health visitor.\ud \ud Design: Descriptive study; non-participant observation; semi-structured interviews.\ud \ud Setting: One predominantly urban community Trust involving seven volunteer health visitors from seven different child health clinics. A total of 24 clinics were observed.\ud \ud Participants: One hundred clients attending seven child health clinics.\ud \ud Findings: Most mothers reported that speaking with the health visitor had been fairly or very important. Clients' discussion with the health visitors covered a wide range of child-centred issues and concerns. Mothers recalled 79% of all topics discussed during the clinic visit and initiated nearly 59%. Although weighing was considered an important reason for attending clinic by most mothers it did not preclude wanting to speak with the health visitor. However, some mothers did not wish to speak to the health visitor.\ud \ud Conclusion: The health visitor provided an advisory and support service for many of the attending mothers. Most clients reported valuing this intervention. This study support the notion that mothers do not attend the clinic simply for medical services or screening. Attention should be focused on research and development of services which reflect this consumer agenda. Consideration should be given to the appropriateness of health visitors weighing children

Topics: Client's perspectives, Clinical effectiveness, Child health clinics, Health visitors
Year: 2002
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Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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