Objective: Home visit is an essential part of primary health care services. In Turkey, as is all over the world, need for home visits will increase with aging population. The number of studies carried out by physicians on home visits in Turkey is quite limited. In the present study, we aimed to make a favorable change in family physicians knowledge and attitudes about home visits via an education on home visits.
Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted as a dissertation project. The universe of this study, which is a cross-sectional study, comprised all family physicians, who were working at Family Health Centers (FHCCs) affiliated to Burdur Provincial Directorate of Health and volunteer to participate in the study. A total of 72 family physicians, 37 being in the intervention group and 35 being in the control group, participated in the study. At the beginning of the study, a survey on home visits was performed in both groups; whilst the intervention group received education on home visits, the control group did not. The survey was repeated after three months and the intervention group underwent a core exam. Data obtained were transferred to the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 18.0 statistics program and were analyzed. Intervention and control groups were compared. Additionally, pre- and post-education results of the intervention group were also compared.
Results: Of 72 physicians received the first survey, 39 (54.2%) reported that family physicians should perform home visits and 18 (25%) physicians reported that they should not, whereas 15 (20%) were undecided. Thirty-one (43.1%) of 72 physicians were in the opinion that they performed adequate number of home visits. There were 26 (36.1%) family physicians thinking that the number of home visits they performed was not adequate, whereas 15 (20.8%) family physicians were undecided. Although the number of physicians, who considered the number of home visits they performed adequate, increased after education, it was not statistically significant. Whilst 44.4% (n=32) of the family physicians were eager about home visits, 45.8% (n=33) were not. The rate of eagerness increased after the education.
Conclusion: Knowledge and skills of the family physicians were enhanced with the education on home visits as was expected. While the rate of eagerness about home visits was increased, expected increase in the rate of home visits was not achieved.