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HealthConnect One's® Community-Based Doula Program

In Brief

Last Updated

July 2015


Evidence of Model Effectiveness

This model does not meet the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model” for the general population or for tribal populations.


Model Description

HealthConnect One (HC One) provides training, technical assistance, accreditation, and evaluation services to sites implementing the Community-Based Doula Program. The model was first implemented in 1996 as a four-year pilot in Chicago, under the name the Chicago Doula Project, and is now being replicated nationwide. HC One assists replication sites in adapting the essential components of the model to their existing program structure. Replication sites may refer to their programs using local names. The Community-Based Doula Program connects underserved, low-income pregnant women to doulas, members of the local community trained to provide support during pregnancy, delivery, and the early postpartum period. The program’s overall goals are to enhance infant health, strengthen families, and establish family supports. The program uses a range of service delivery methods to support women. The HomVEE review is based on Community-Based Doula Programs in which home visiting was the primary service delivery strategy. During prenatal home visits, doulas assess families’ needs and strengths, help them develop a birth plan, promote positive health behaviors, and facilitate access to prenatal care and other resources. Postpartum visits focus on supporting breastfeeding; fostering positive parent-child interactions; providing information on infant development, care, and safety; and referring mothers to community resources to address other health or environmental concerns. HC One recommends a minimum of six prenatal and eight postpartum visits. For more information, please read the Model Overview.


Extent of Evidence

Results of Research and ReviewNumber of Studies
Released from 1979 to 2014 16
Eligible for review 2
     Rated high 0
     Rated moderate 0
     Rated low 2
     Additional sources1 0

1Additional sources overlap with another study and are not rated.

For more information, see the study database. For more information on the criteria used to determine the study ratings, please read Producing Study Ratings.


Summary of Findings

HomVEE reports results from studies that meet the standards for the high or moderate ratings. No such studies were identified for this review of HealthConnect One’s Community-Based Doula Program.


Criteria Established by the Department of Health and Human Services

Information Based on Comprehensive Review of All High- and Moderate-Impact Studies for this Model
High- or moderate-quality impact study? No
Across high- or moderate-quality studies, favorable impacts in…
   at least two outcome domains within one sample
   the same domain for at least two non-overlapping samples?
Favorable impacts on full sample? NA
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after model enrollment?1 NA
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?1 NA

NA = not applicable.

1This information is reported for all models, but the requirements for sustained findings and inclusion in a peer-reviewed journal only apply to models for which all findings are from randomized controlled trials.

Please read the HHS Criteria for Evidence-Based Models for more information.