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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


CESAR, Juraci A. et al. Effects of different home visit strategies on prenatal care in Southern Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.11, pp.2614-2622. ISSN 1678-4464.

This non-randomized community intervention study evaluated the impact of prenatal home visits by community health agents and volunteer leaders from the Children's Mission on prenatal care among poor pregnant women in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Previously trained interviewers applied pre-coded questionnaires to the women at home, investigating demographic and reproductive characteristics, socioeconomic status, housing conditions, and prenatal care. Of the 339 pregnant women interviewed, 115 were assigned to the intervention group visited by community health agents, 116 to the group visited by volunteer leaders, and 108 to the control group. Pregnant women visited by community health agents began prenatal visits earlier than other groups, had more prenatal visits, lab tests, and clinical exams, and received more counseling on breastfeeding and iron supplementation. Participation by family members during medical consultations for pregnant women visited by volunteer leaders was higher than for community health agents. Pregnant women visited by community health agents received better prenatal care than the other groups. Home visits can improve the quality of prenatal care for poor women and increase participation by family members (mainly husbands) during the pregnancy.

Keywords : Prenatal Care; Home Visit; Maternal Welfare.

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