CONSUMERS VIEWS OF REGIONALIZED PERINATAL CARE

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    • Abstract:
      During the summer, 1976, all parents whose babies were admitted to intensive care nurseries in Vermont or New Hampshire between January 1, 1975, and June 30, 1976, were mailed questionnaires. The instrument was designed to obtain opinions about care that their child received under a regional perinatal care program.The population contained 610 families of which 31% responded. A reliability check indicated that poor, unemployed and under-insured people were somewhat underrepresented in the sample. But given the length of the questionnaire and the topic with which it dealt, the response rate was judged to be a good one.Issues addressed by the survey included whether or not parents' experiences affected their thinking about having more children (40% answered at least a qualified “yes”), whether or not parents understood their child's illness and its treatment (15% said they had difficulty), whether or not they wanted to see or hold their baby prior to transport (18% had reservations about doing so), and their perception of the quality of care received.Using a scaling technique which allowed parents to standardize their own responses, most parents rated care in the regional center very high. Those parents whose babies were taken to a regional center for care rated the center higher than their local hospital on indicators of quality of care. But over 90% of the sample said that they would return to their local physician.