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Can J Public Health. 1996 Mar-Apr;87(2):90-4.

Postpartum safety and satisfaction following early discharge.

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St. Joseph's Community Health Centre, Hamilton, ON.


Two Ontario sites were involved in the evaluation of an obstetrical discharge program. Before program implementation a group of eligible women were enrolled as the preprogram control group (n = 542). During the program, eligible women who agreed to early discharge (ED) became the ED group (n = 319), and those opting not to go home early but consenting to participate in the evaluation became the concurrent group (n = 456). All groups were mailed a self-administered postpartum questionnaire. On demographic characteristics, safety and satisfaction, the ED group was comparable to the concurrent group. Hospital readmission rates did not differ across groups after stratification by site or hospital. Multiple classification analyses revealed a similar pattern for overall satisfaction levels. This unique ED program, which allowed pre- or postnatal enrollment and did not require an initial home assessment, appears to be a safe, effective and flexible approach to obstetrical care.

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