Implementation, Uptake, and Impact of a Provincial Postpartum Program
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This paper examines implementation and uptake of the Hospital Stay and Postpartum Home Visiting Program at 5 sites in the Canadian province of Ontario using a cross-sectional survey. It also examines concomitant changes in satisfaction with services and maternal and infant health indicators by comparing the findings of this survey, administered after policy implementation, with those of a previous survey. In both surveys, data were collected via a self-administered in-hospital questionnaire and a structured telephone interview at 4 weeks post-discharge. There were statistically significant differences in implementation of the 60-hour hospital-stay option across sites, with between 11.7% and 81.2% of women having been offered an extended stay. However, there were no significant differences in acceptance rates (21.1-39.4%) among those women given this option. There were no statistically significant differences in the offer of a home visit by a public health nurse (91.5-96.6%), but there were significant differences in uptake of a visit. Between 21.1% and 39.4% of those women who were offered a home visit accepted. When compared to the previous survey findings, there were few changes in client satisfaction with services and health indicators following program implementation.This study raises questions about the utility of the postpartum program as currently implemented and highlights the need for further research.
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