Clients' reports of the work of health visitors in the child health clinic and during home visits
This study examines clients' reports of aspects of a single child health clinic visit and of a home visit by the health visitor. There are two foci of the thesis. First: recall; value and use of the advice/information selected by the client as the most important; second, an exploration of the meaning of support identified by some clients.Seven health visitors participated in the research, which incorporated two studies. In the first study, the researcher observed the content of discussions between 100 clients and the health visitor in child health clinics. These clients were then interviewed at home and asked questions about the advice/information received from the health visitor during theirprevious visit to the child health clinic.For the second study, information was recorded by the health visitor describing the content of 149 home visits. Clients were interviewed at home and asked similar questions regarding advice/information received from the health visitor. In addition, those clients who described receiving support were asked to describe the meaning to them of this aspectof the visit.Data analysis for both studies included descriptive and inferential statistics and content analysis.Findings from both studies indicate that recall of advice/information is related to the amount of advice/information given to the client. This may have implications for the amount of advice/information that health visitors are encouraged to provide.Advice/information received from the health visitor was generally valued and used by the mothers in both studies. Clients appeared most likely to be dissatisfied when topics had been raised which they had no interest in discussing. It is suggested that that there may be correspondence between some clients' descriptions of support, and taxonomies of social support found in social support literature. An exploration of health visiting work employing the concepts of social support is recommended.