Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 196–204 | Cite as

‘It Was Easier Because I Had Help’: Mothers’ Reflections on the Long-Term Impact of Sustained Nurse Home Visiting

Article

Abstract

Objectives

This qualitative descriptive study sought women’s views of the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting (MECSH) program they received from prior to birth to child-age 2-years. MECSH is a structured nurse home visiting program for a broad range of women of all ages (both primiparous and multiparous) who experienced stressors in pregnancy that could negatively impact on maternal and child outcomes. Women were asked for their perceptions of how and why the intervention worked for them, and the impact of the intervention on their subsequent parenting to child-age 5-years.

Methods

Thirty-six women participated in a semi-structured interview when their child commenced formal schooling at age 5-years. Recorded and transcribed data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results

Women described the importance of a positive relationship with the nurse, and nurses’ availability and responsiveness as critical to positive impacts. The interventions they recalled receiving were consistent with the comprehensive MECSH program model. The intervention impacted on women’s emotional well-being, confidence and help-seeking behaviour, and positively impacted on their parenting of their MECSH program child and their older and subsequent children. A small number of women reported feeling stressed and disconnected from services following program completion, however, most women continued to apply the learnings from the program.

Conclusions

Overall women reported positive impacts not just for themselves and their parenting abilities during the 2-year intervention program, but also described ongoing benefit to their subsequent parenting in the preschool period.

Keywords

Nurse home visiting Mothers’ experiences Qualitative research At-risk mothers 

References

  1. 1.
    Gomby, D. S. (1999). Understanding evaluations of home visitation programs. Future of Children, 9(1), 27–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gomby, D. S., Larson, C. S., Lewit, E. M., & Behrman, R. E. (1993). Home visiting: Analysis and recommendations. Future of Children: Home Visiting, 3(3), 6–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kitzman, H. J., Cole, R., Yoos, H. L., & Olds, D. (1997). Challenges experienced by home visitors: A qualitative study of program implementation. Journal of Community Psychology, 25(1), 95–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kardamanidis, K., Kemp, L., & Schmied, V. (2009). Uncovering psychosocial needs: Perspectives of Australian child and family health nurses in a sustained home visiting trial. Contemporary Nurse, 33(1), 50–58.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sawyer, M. G., Barnes, J., Frost, L., Jeffs, D., Bowering, K., & Lynch, J. (2013). Nurse perceptions of family home-visiting programmes in Australia and England. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(5), 369–374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    O’Brien, R. A., Moritz, P., Luckey, D. W., McClatchey, M. W., Ingoldsby, E. M., & Olds, D. L. (2012). Mixed methods analysis of participant attrition in the Nurse Family Partnership. Prevention Science, 13(3), 219–228.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brookes, S. J., Summers, J. A., Thornburg, K. R., Ispa, J. M., & Lane, V. J. (2006). Building successful home visitor–mother relationships and reaching program goals in two Early Head Start programs: A qualitative look at contributing factors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21(1), 25–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jack, S. M., DiCenso, A., & Lohfeld, L. (2005). A theory of maternal engagement with public health nurses and family visitors. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 49(2), 182–190.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    DeMay, D. A. (2003). The experience of being a client in an Alaska public health nursing home visitation program. Public Health Nursing, 20(3), 228–236.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Landy, C. K., Jack, S. M., Wahoush, O., Sheehan, D., & MacMillan, H. L. (2012). Mothers’ experiences in the Nurse Family Partnership program: A qualitative case study. BMC Nursing, 11, 15.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kitzman, H. J., Olds, D. L., Cole, R. E., Hanks, C. A., Anson, E. A., Arcoleo, K. J., et al. (2010). Enduring effects of prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses on children: Follow-up of a randomized trial among children at age 12 years. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 164(5), 412–418.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eckenrode, J., Campa, M., Luckey, D. W., Henderson, C. R., Jr., Cole, R., Kitzman, H., et al. (2010). Long-term effects of prenatal and infancy nurse home visitation on the life course of youths: 19-year follow-up of a randomized trial. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 164(1), 9–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kemp, L., Harris, E., McMahon, C., Matthey, S., Vimpani, G., Anderson, T., et al. (2008). Miller early childhood sustained home-visiting (MECSH) trial: Design, method and sample description. BMC Public Health, 8, 424.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kemp, L., Harris, E., McMahon, C., Matthey, S., Vimpani, G., Anderson, T., et al. (2011). Child and family outcomes of a long-term nurse home visitation program: A randomised controlled trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 96(6), 533–540.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kemp, L., Harris, E., McMahon, C., Matthey, S., Vimpani, G., Anderson, T., et al. (2013). Benefits of psychosocial intervention and continuity of care by child and family health nurses in the pre and postnatal period: Process evaluation. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(8), 1850–1861.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Altheide, D. L. (1987). Ethnographic content analysis. Qualitative Sociology, 10, 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Morgan, D. L. (1993). Qualitative content analysis: A guide to paths not taken. Qualitative Health Research, 3, 112–121.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhang, Y., & Wildemuth, B. M. (2009). Qualitative analysis of content. In B. Wildemuth (Ed.), Applications of social research methods to questions in information and library science (pp. 308–319). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sandelowski, M. (2000). Focus on research methods: Whatever happened to qualitative description? Research in Nursing & Health, 23, 334–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Butcher, R. L., & Gersch, I. S. (2014). Parental experiences of the “Time Together” home visiting intervention: An attachment theory perspective. Educational Psychology in Practice, 30(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Olds, D., Kitzman, H., Cole, R., & Robinson, J. A. (1997). Theoretical foundations of a program of home visitation for pregnant women and parents of young children. Journal of Community Psychology, 25(1), 9–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), A Unit of Population Health, South Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW HealthLiverpool HospitalLiverpool BCAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), Part of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW AustraliaLiverpool HospitalLiverpool BCAustralia
  3. 3.Ingham Institute for Applied Medical ResearchLiverpoolAustralia

Personalised recommendations