Home visiting as a Public Health Nursing function is believed to be of therapeutic value to the patient. However, home visiting is time consuming and expensive. Is the gain in knowledge and treatment for patients with Tuberculosis in Korea enough to make the necessary outlay in finances and personnel worthwhile?
While this study does not attempt to completely answer this question it does, under the following objectives, attempt to answer part of the question.
The objectives of the study were to 1) ascertain if there is a difference between patients, who receive home visits from the Public Health Nurse and those who do not, in the following areas: a) their compliance with medical regimen, by their ability to answer general questions about Tuberculosis, and c) their compliance with medical advice concerning prevention (B.C.G.immunization) and early diagnosis(contact x-rays), and 2) to determini if there is any correlation between the patient's answers to questions about Tuberculosis and his action both in the areas of treatment and prevertion.
The patients participating in the study were all newly diagnosed patients at Kwangju Christian Hospital. A control group and an experimental group were selected. The patients in the control group were seen according to the regular schedule at the Kwangju Christian Hospital except that they received no home visits from the Public Health Nurses. The patients in the experimental group were visited on an average of three times during the first two months of their treatment by the investigator, a Public Health Nurse. At the end of two months the patients in the two groups were compared as to compliance both in the treatment and preventive areas. They were also compared according to their answers to a questionnaire regarding both the prevention and treatment of Tuberculosis.
The following results were obtained:
1. Patients in the experimental group(68.2%) showed a significantly higher compliance rate for medical treatment than patients in the control group(43.2%).
2. Patients in the experimental group(87.5%) showed a higher compliance rate for BCG immunization than those in the control group(40%).
3. Women patients in the experimental group showed a higher mean score(7.2±2.6) on the quertionaire than did women in the control group(6.2±3.4).
The results of this study seem to indicate that while home visiting is beneficial to the patient with Tuberculosis as far as treatment is concerned, something more concrete needs to be done if home visiting is to help the patient learn more about
Tuberculosis and its prevention. Further study is indicated in the following areas:
1) A similar type of study over a longer period of time involving more subjects and using Korean Public Health Nurses to make the home visits. 2) Study to develop an adequate approach to education considering the problems unique to patients with
Tuberculosis living in Korea.