Low-income first time mothers: Effects on advanced practice nurse (APN) follow up telephone calls on maternal and infant health and health care charges

Jean L Hannan, Florida International University


The United States has over 4 million births annually. Currently healthy women with non-complicated deliveries receive little to no routine postpartum support when discharged from the hospital. This is especially problematic if mothers are first time mothers, poor, have language barriers and little to no social support after giving birth. The purpose of this randomized clinical trial was to compare maternal and infant health outcomes, and health care charges between 2 groups of mothers and newborns. A control ( n = 69) group received routine posthospital discharge care. An intervention group (n = 70) received routine posthospital discharge care plus follow up telephone calls by advanced practice nurses (APNs) on days 3,7,14,21,28 and week 8. Both groups were followed for the first 8 weeks posthospital discharge following delivery to examine maternal health outcomes (perceived maternal stress, social support and perceived maternal physical health), infant health outcomes (routine medical follow up visits immunizations, weight gain), morbidity (urgent care visits, emergency room visits, rehospitalizations), health care charges (urgent care visits, emergency room visits, rehospitalizations) in both groups and charges for APN follow up in the intervention group only. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and two-sample t-tests. Study findings indicated that intervention group had significantly lower perceived maternal stress, significantly higher rating of perceived maternal health and higher levels of social support and by the end of the 2nd month posthospital discharge compared to control group mothers. Infants in the intervention group had: increased number of immunizations; fewer emergency room visits; and 1 infant rehospitalization compared to 3 infant rehospitalizations in the control group. The intervention groups' health care charges were significantly lower compared to the control group $14,333/$497 vs. $70,834/$1,068. These study results indicate that an intervention of APN follow up telephone calls in this sample of first time low-income culturally diverse mothers was an effective, safe, low cost, easy to apply intervention which improved mothers' and infants' health outcomes and reduced healthcare charges.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Nursing

Recommended Citation

Hannan, Jean L, "Low-income first time mothers: Effects on advanced practice nurse (APN) follow up telephone calls on maternal and infant health and health care charges" (2010). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3447448.