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Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2012;7. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v7i0.18183. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Joint action between child health care nurses and midwives leads to continuity of care for expectant and new mothers.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Center for Family and Community Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Reduction of the duration of postpartum hospital stay in western countries highlights the need for better support and continuity of care for expectant and new mothers. The aim of this study was to investigate strategies to improve continuity of care for expectant and new mothers. The study also aimed to elaborate on a preliminary substantive grounded theory model of "linkage in the chain of care" that had been developed earlier. Grounded theory methodology, which involved multiple data sources comprising structured interviews with midwives and child healthcare nurses (n=20), as well as mothers (n=21), participant observation, and written material, was used. Comparative analysis was used to analyse the data. To achieve continuity, three main strategies, transfer, establishing and maintaining a relation, and adjustment, were identified. These strategies for continuity formed the basis of the core category, joint action. In all the strategies for continuity, midwives and child healthcare nurses worked together. In addition, mothers benefited from the joint action and recognized continuity of care when strategies for continuity were implemented. The results are discussed in relation to the established concepts of continuity.


Continuity; child healthcare nurses; collaboration; expectant and new mothers; grounded theory; midwives

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