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Referrals of participants in an urban WIC program to health and welfare services.
  • Published Date:
    1992 Mar-Apr
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 107(2):173-178
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-1.12 MB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental food, nutrition education, and referrals to available health and welfare services. Recipients are income-eligible pregnant and postpartum women, their infants, and their children who are younger than 5 years of age. Although studies have documented the nutritional benefits of the program, the extent to which WIC nutritionists help eligible women to obtain available health and welfare services, and the degree to which this referral activity promotes health, is largely unknown. The researchers examined the referral activity at one urban WIC clinic, but did not evaluate the outcomes. Of 1,850 persons seen, there were 762 referrals by WIC nutritionists for 597 persons at the Lawrence, MA, clinic during a 2-month period. Of the 597 persons, 494 (83 percent) were WIC participants and 103 (17 percent) were nonparticipants. The rate of referrals for WIC participants was 27 percent. Multiple referrals were common, with 127 people receiving more than one referral. WIC nutritionists at this site offered a variety of referrals to their clients. The majority of referrals (61.7 percent) were for supplemented food. Non nutrition-related referrals were to medical and dental services (20.5 percent), developmental and educational services (12.5 percent), and social services (5.4 percent). Non nutrition-related referrals for women included referrals for family planning, substance abuse, job training, teenaged parenting, and high school equivalency programs. Infants and children were referred for dental care, growth failure, the Head Start Program, kindergarten enrollment, early intervention, and protective services. WIC nutritionists are in an ideal position to evaluate a broad spectrum of health issues and to refer participants to health and welfare services because clients return regularly for vouchers and nutrition counselling. The authors conclude that WIC nutritionists should be given formal training in the evaluation of, and referral for, non nutrition related issues in order to maximize their health advocacy role.

  • Pubmed ID:
    1561299
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMCnull
  • Document Type:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • Supporting Files:
    No Additional Files
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