Public Health Nurses Tailor Interventions for Families at Risk

Karen A Monsen, David M. Radosevich, Madeleine J. Kerr, Jayne Fulkerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: To use structured clinical data from public health nurse (PHN) documentation to describe client risk, to describe family home visiting interventions, including tailoring, and to assess the associations between client risk and intervention tailoring. Design and Sample: Retrospective cohort design. A cohort of 486 family home visiting clients who received at least 3 visits from PHNs in a local Midwest public health agency (2000-2005). Measures: Omaha System variables documenting assessments, interventions, and outcomes. A risk index was created to identify low- and high-risk clients. Descriptive and inferential methods were used to describe interventions, and to assess intervention tailoring between groups. Intervention: Routine PHN family home visiting practice. Results: The risk index meaningfully discriminated between groups. PHNs provided more visits and interventions to clients in the high-risk group, with variations in problem, category, and target by group, demonstrating that PHNs tailored interventions to address specific client needs. Conclusions: Standardized terminologies and structured clinical data are useful tools to support PHN practice, and may be useful to advance health care quality research, program evaluation, policy development, and population health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Interventions
  • Omaha System
  • Outcomes
  • Public health nursing practice
  • Public health nursing standards
  • Vulnerable populations


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