A Randomized, Controlled Trial to Measure the Frequency of Use of a Hospital Telephone Line for New Parents
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New parents have fewer supports today than in previous decades due to factors such as short postpartum hospital stay, fragmentation of services, and long-distance families. This controlled trial evaluated the frequency of use of a 24-hour, in-hospital telephone line by 130 parents randomly invited to use the service and 130 who were not aware of this service. A special line with a separate extension was installed on the postpartum unit. Randomly arranged, sealed envelopes were given to 260 women at the time of discharge, containing a congratulations message or description of a new 24-hour telephone line for advice given by postpartum nurses. Of 53 calls requesting help, 36 were received on the special line and 17 on regular ward telephones; 28 percent of those invited to call back did so, and 13 percent of those without an invitation called on the regular extension, (P = 0.015). Recommendations for future program planning are based on the results of this study.
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