Nurse perceptions of family home-visiting programmes in Australia and England

Michael Sawyer, Jacqueline Barnes, Linda Frost, Debra Jeffs, Kerrie Bowering, John Lynch

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims Nurse home-visiting programmes are employed to enhance the functioning of disadvantaged mothers and young children. Despite the key role played by nurses, there is little empirical evidence describing the views and experiences of nurses who deliver home-visiting programmes. This study compared the views and experiences of nurses delivering home-visiting programmes in England and South Australia. Methods Participants were 108 nurses delivering the South Australian Family Home Visiting programme (2008-2011), and 44 nurses delivering the Family Nurse Partnership programme in England (2007-2009). Data were collected using a standard questionnaire that was completed by nurses in each country. The questionnaire asked nurses about their level of influence on programme outcomes, approaches they used to retain maternal engagement with the home-visiting programmes, barriers to effective programme delivery and the effectiveness of supervision. Results Both groups of nurses considered that their greatest influence was improving mothers' confidence with parenting skills and increasing mothers' knowledge about children's development. Each group identified quality of nurse-mother relationships as the factor most relevant to retaining maternal engagement. Other influential factors were flexibility of timing for visits and the capacity of the programmes to meet specific needs of mothers. Conclusion There was consistency in the nurses' views about the home-visiting programmes delivered in England and Australia. Future studies should utilise prospective designs to identify the mechanisms by which factors influence the quality of nurse-mother relationships, approaches used by nurses to solve family problems and elements of mother-nurse relationships that have the strongest influence on programme outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)369-374
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013


    • children
    • home visits
    • maternal-child health
    • nurse perceptions
    • nurses


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