This survey's objective was to provide planning information by examining utilization patterns, health outcomes and costs associated with existing practices in the management of postpartum women and their infants. In particular, this paper looks at a subgroup of women who score >or= 12 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Survey (EPDS).
The design is cross-sectional with follow-up at four weeks after postpartum hospital discharge. Five Ontario hospitals, chosen for their varied size, practice characteristics, and geographic location, provided the setting for the study. The subjects were 875 women who had uncomplicated vaginal deliveries of live singleton infants. The main outcome measures were the EPDS, the Duke UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire and the Health and Social Services Utilization Questionnaire.
EPDS scores of >or= 12 were found in 4.3 to 15.2% of otherwise healthy women. None of these women were being treated for postpartum depression. Best predictors of an EPDS score of >or= 12 were lack: of confident support, lack of affective support, household income of
To report on the relationship between delivery method (cesarean vs. vaginal) and type (planned vs. unplanned) and breastfeeding initiation in hospital and continuation to 6 weeks postpartum as self-reported by study participants.
Quantitative sequential mixed methods design.
Women were recruited from 11 hospital sites in Ontario, Canada.
Participants included 2,560 women age 16 years or older who delivered live, full-term, singleton infants.
Data were collected from an in-hospital questionnaire, hospital records, and a 6-week postpartum interview.
Ninety-two percent of women reported initiating breastfeeding, and 74% continued to 6 weeks. The method of delivery, when defined as cesarean versus vaginal, was not a determining factor in breastfeeding initiation in hospital or in the early postdischarge period. An unexpected delivery method (i.e., unplanned cesarean or instrument-assisted vaginal deliveries) was associated, at a statistically significant level, with an increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding and continuation to 6 weeks postdischarge.
Breastfeeding can be considered a coping strategy that serves to normalize an abnormal experience and allows the individual to once again assume control. These unexpected results warrant further investigation to understand why women make the decision to initiate breastfeeding, why they choose to continue breastfeeding, and how they can be supported to achieve exclusive breastfeeding as recommended for infants in the first 6 months.
The Ontario Mother and Infant Study II examined changes in postpartum health outcomes, including breastfeeding initiation and discontinuation, for mothers and their infants and compared these results to data collected prior to the initiation of the Universal Hospital Stay and Postpartum Home Visiting Program policy change in 1998. Data were collected using cross-sectional surveys before discharge and at 4 weeks postdischarge. Ninety percent of the women surveyed at 4 weeks postpartum initiated breastfeeding. Of these, 84% were still breastfeeding at 4 weeks postpartum. None of the 3 major program components-extended length of stay, a postpartum phone call from a public health worker, or a postpartum in-home visit-were associated with breastfeeding continuation to 4 weeks. Discontinuation before 4 weeks postdischarge was associated with maternal attitudes toward breastfeeding, formula feeding or supplementation in hospital, infant readmission, and use of walk-in clinics for infant care.
Governments often create policies that rely on implementation by arms length organizations and require practice changes on the part of different segments of the health care system without understanding the differences in and complexities of these agencies. In 2000, in response to publicity about the shortening length of postpartum hospital stay, the Ontario government created a universal program offering up to a 60-hour postpartum stay and a public health follow-up to mothers and newborn infants. The purpose of this paper is to examine how a health policy initiative was implemented in two different parts of a health care system and to analyze the barriers and facilitators to achieving practice change.
The data reported came from two studies of postpartum health and service use in Ontario Canada. Data were collected from newly delivered mothers who had uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. The study samples were drawn from the same five purposefully selected hospitals for both studies. Questionnaires prior to discharge and structured telephone interviews at 4-weeks post discharge were used to collect data before and after policy implementation. Qualitative data were collected using focus groups with hospital and community-based health care practitioners and administrators at each site.
In both studies, the respondents reflected a population of women who experienced an "average" or non-eventful hospital-based, singleton vaginal delivery. The findings of the second study demonstrated wide variance in implementation of the offer of a 60-hour stay among the sites and focus groups revealed that none of the hospitals acknowledged the 60-hour stay as an official policy. The uptake of the offer of a 60-hour stay was unrelated to the rate of offer. The percentage of women with a hospital stay of less than 25 hours and the number with the guideline that the call be within 48 hours of hospital discharge. Public health telephone contact was high although variable in relation to compliance the guideline that the call be within 48 hours of hospital discharge. Home visits were offered at consistently high rates.
Policy enactment is sometimes inadequate to stimulate practice changes in health care. Policy as a tool for practice change must thoughtfully address the organizational, professional, and social contexts within which the policy is to be implemented. These contexts can either facilitate or block implementation. Our examination of Ontario's universal postpartum program provides an example of differential implementation of a common policy intended to change post-natal care practices that reflects the differential influence of context on implementation.
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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.
Little is known about how information needs change over time in the early postpartum period or about how these needs might differ given socioeconomic circumstances. This study's aim was to examine women's concerns at the time of hospital discharge and unmet learning needs as self-identified at 4 weeks after discharge.
Data were collected as part of a cross-sectional survey of postpartum health outcomes, service use, and costs of care in the first 4 weeks after postpartum hospital discharge. Recruitment of 250 women was conducted from each of 5 hospitals in Ontario, Canada (n = 1,250). Women who had given vaginal birth to a single live infant, and who were being discharged at the same time as their infant, assuming care of their infant, competent to give consent, and able to communicate in one of the study languages were eligible. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire in hospital; 890 (71.2%) took part in a structured telephone interview 4 weeks after hospital discharge.
Approximately 17 percent of participants were of low socioeconomic status. Breastfeeding and signs of infant illness were the most frequently identified concerns by women, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Signs of infant illness and infant care/behavior were the main unmet learning needs. Although few differences in identified concerns were evident, women of low socioeconomic status were significantly more likely to report unmet learning needs related to 9 of 10 topics compared with women of higher socioeconomic status. For most topics, significantly more women of both groups identified learning needs 4 weeks after discharge compared with the number who identified corresponding concerns while in hospital.
It is important to ensure that new mothers are adequately informed about topics important to them while in hospital. The findings highlight the need for accessible and appropriate community-based information resources for women in the postpartum period, especially for those of low socioeconomic status.
The caesarean section rate continues to rise globally. A caesarean section is inarguably the preferred method of delivery when there is good evidence that a vaginal delivery may unduly risk the health of a woman or her infant. Any decisions about delivery method in the absence of clear medical indication should be based on knowledge of outcomes associated with different childbirth methods. However, there is lack of sold evidence of the short-term and long-term risks and benefits of a planned caesarean delivery compared to a planned vaginal delivery. It also is important to consider the economic aspects of caesarean sections, but very little attention has been given to health care system costs that take into account services used by women for themselves and their infants following hospital discharge.
The Ontario Mother and Infant Study III is a prospective cohort study to examine relationships between method of delivery and maternal and infant health, service utilization, and cost of care at three time points during the year following postpartum hospital discharge. Over 2500 women were recruited from 11 hospitals across the province of Ontario, Canada, with data collection occurring between April 2006 and October 2008. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire in hospital and structured telephone interviews at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months after discharge. Data will be analyzed using generalized estimating equation, a special generalized linear models technique. A qualitative descriptive component supplements the survey approach, with the goal of assisting in interpretation of data and providing explanations for trends in the findings.
The findings can be incorporated into patient counselling and discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of different delivery methods, potentially leading to changes in preferences and practices. In addition, the findings will be useful to hospital- and community-based postpartum care providers, managers, and administrators in guiding risk assessment and early intervention strategies. Finally, the research findings can provide the basis for policy modification and implementation strategies to improve outcomes and reduce costs of care.
To describe immigrant women's postpartum health, service needs, access to services, and service use during the first 4 weeks following hospital discharge compared to women born in Canada.
Data were collected as part of a larger cross-sectional study.
Women were recruited from 5 hospitals purposefully selected to provide a diverse sample.
A sample of 1,250 women following vaginal delivery of a healthy infant; approximately 31% were born outside of Canada.
Self-reported health status, postpartum depression, postpartum needs, access to services, service use.
Immigrant women were significantly more likely than Canadian-born women to have low family incomes, low social support, poorer health, possible postpartum depression, learning needs that were unmet in hospital, and a need for financial assistance. However, they were less likely to be able to get financial aid, household help, and reassurance/support. There were no differences between groups in ability to get care for health concerns.
Health care professionals should attend not only to the basic postpartum health needs of immigrant women but also to their income and support needs by ensuring effective interventions and referral mechanisms.
To determine 1) rates of offer and uptake of a home visit provided through Ontario's universal Hospital Stay and Postpartum Home Visiting Program, and 2) predictors of acceptance of a home visit.
Women were eligible to participate if they had given birth vaginally to a live singleton infant, were being discharged with the infant to their care, were competent to give consent, and could communicate in one of the four study languages. A self-report questionnaire was used to collect data from 1,250 women recruited from five hospitals across the province; 890 (71.2%) women completed a structured telephone interview 4 weeks following discharge.
Most women (81.4% to 97.8%) reported having received a telephone call from a public health nurse, although not necessarily within 48 hours of discharge. While the offer of a home visit reportedly was high across sites, there were statistically significant differences in rates of acceptance (40.8% to 76.2%). Important predictors of acceptance were first live birth, lower social support, lower maternal rating of services in labour and delivery, poorer maternal self-reported health, probable postpartum depression, lower maternal rating of services on the postpartum unit, and breastfeeding initiation.
The home visiting component of the universal program is reaching most women through telephone follow-up. However, rates of acceptance of a home visit differed greatly across study sites. The findings suggest that it is women with specific problems or needs who are accepting a visit. Further research is necessary to guide the development of evidence-based programs and policies regarding postpartum nurse home visits.
The objectives of this study were to identify support needs, support resources, and support barriers for young adolescents with asthma and allergies and to describe preferences for an accessible support intervention. Adolescents (N = 57) completed a survey questionnaire. Eight young adolescents, 10 parents, and 5 older adolescents participated in separate group interviews. Young adolescents' challenges included transition to self-care, balancing restrictions with safety, social isolation, and loneliness. Young teens recommended supportive networks facilitated by older adolescent peers and wanted to meet with other young adolescents living with asthma and allergies online and share information, advice, and encouragement with them.