Identifying approaches to meet assessed needs in health visiting

Cowey, Sarah and Billings, Jenny R. (1999) Identifying approaches to meet assessed needs in health visiting. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 8 (5). pp. 527-534. (doi: (Full text available)

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An action research project, based in a single fundholding practice on the south coast of England, aimed to identify the health needs of families with resident children, then use the contracting system to redirect health visiting services to meet those needs. After assessing the health needs, it was necessary to assess the potential of a range of health visiting approaches that might be proposed to meet those needs. This paper explains how the approaches were assessed for use in the local area and why funding for two additional, innovative posts was deemed necessary. Despite the unsophisticated evidence base for health visiting interventions, a case can be made for commissioning particular service approaches by using a combination of survey data and results from controlled and uncontrolled service evaluations. The supportive focus of health visitor home visiting remains an appropriate use of existing resources, but the usual intensity of visiting may be insufficient for full effectiveness. To rationalize such services by targeting them only at individuals with established needs risks an exacerbation of deteriorating health trends across an area. Alternatively, augmenting home visiting with a community development approach to improve the adverse social environments in which families live may help to change the underlying factors that contribute to ill-health and prove more widely cost-effective. KEYWORDS evidence-based practice • health visiting • prevention • service evaluations • social exclusion

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2011 14:29 UTC
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 10:56 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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