Discontinuities between maternity and child and family health services: Health professional's perceptions

Psaila, Kim, Schmied, Virginia, Fowler, Cathrine and Kruske, Sue (2014) Discontinuities between maternity and child and family health services: Health professional's perceptions. BMC Health Services Research, 14 4: . doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-4


Author Psaila, Kim
Schmied, Virginia
Fowler, Cathrine
Kruske, Sue
Title Discontinuities between maternity and child and family health services: Health professional's perceptions
Journal name BMC Health Services Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6963
Publication date 2014-01-06
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1472-6963-14-4
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 14
Issue 4
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Language eng
Abstract Background: Continuity in the context of healthcare refers to the perception of the client that care has been connected and coherent over time. For over a decade professionals providing maternity and child and family health (CFH) services in Australia and internationally have emphasised the importance of continuity of care for women, families and children. However, continuity across maternity and CFH services remains elusive. Continuity is defined and implemented in different ways, resulting in fragmentation of care particularly at points of transition from one service or professional to another. This paper examines the concept of continuity across the maternity and CFH service continuum from the perspectives of midwifery, CFH nursing, general practitioner (GP) and practice nurse (PN) professional leaders. Methods. Data were collected as part of a three phase mixed methods study investigating the feasibility of implementing a national approach to CFH services in Australia (CHoRUS study). Representatives from the four participating professional groups were consulted via discussion groups, focus groups and e-conversations, which were recorded and transcribed. In total, 132 professionals participated, including 45 midwives, 60 CFH nurses, 15 general practitioners and 12 practice nurses. Transcripts were analysed using a thematic approach. Results: 'Continuity' was used and applied differently within and across groups. Aspects of care most valued by professionals included continuity preferably characterised by the development of a relationship with the family (relational continuity) and good communication (informational continuity). When considering managerial continuity we found professionals' were most concerned with co-ordination of care within their own service, rather than focusing on the co-ordination between services. Conclusion: These findings add new perspectives to understanding continuity within the maternity and CFH services continuum of care. All health professionals consulted were committed to a smooth journey for families along the continuum. Commitment to collaboration is required if service gaps are to be addressed particularly at the point of transition of care between services which was found to be particularly problematic.
Keyword Child and family health
Maternity care
Midwifery care
Nursing care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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