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Sir.—Medical practice seems to go through cycles or perhaps even circles! The article on home visits by Berger and Samet appearing in the September issue of the Journal (1981;135:812-814) underlines this point. The authors bring to our attention something that we already really know, but do not wish to address: the fact that understanding how families live and interact in their own environment can provide invaluable information to the physician. This information may have both short- and long-term impact.
In Great Britain, home visiting (still common) is undertaken by family doctors, district nurses, and health visitors for a number of reasons: (1) acute illness in children, (2) after-hours contacts, (3) chronic disease in children, and (4) neonatal care. When a newborn is brought home, the midwife visits almost daily for ten days, to check on infant care and feeding, after which the health visitor comes to the home to
CURTIS P. Home Visits. Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(4):376. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970400094029