Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-Visiting Program (MECSH) Model Components

One study reported that MECSH included home visits, hospital-based prenatal care, and group activities. Two studies reported that the intervention was designed to be initiated during pregnancy and continue to the child’s second birthday, for a total duration of about 2.5 years. According to one of the studies, all women in the region were expected to receive a universal health service home visit by a child and family health nurse within two weeks of giving birth. MECSH nurses conducted the visits for women enrolled in the program.

Two studies reported that the program covered general domains such as parenting, maternal mental health, preventive health, family well-being, infant well-being, safety, planning and goal setting, and housing and child care issues. One of the studies also noted that hospital staff held primary responsibility for preparing mothers for birth, and MECSH nurses provided additional and reinforcing messages.

According to one of the two studies, the following topics were addressed with more than 50 percent of the participants during the prenatal stage of the intervention: maternal health and nutrition, maternal mood, partnership issues, family’s social support network, relationship with extended family, relationships with other children, caregiver’s goals for coming weeks, caregiver’s aspirations for self, expectations of having a baby, caregiver’s aspirations for baby, infant feeding, contraception/conception, pregnancy/childbirth terminology, finance/budget, and housing/physical environment. The other study also reported that most mothers received information and advice on infant feeding and added that most were also provided information about infant sleeping (including sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS] risk reduction).

One study reported that the home visitors used a standardized curriculum, Learning to Communicate, designed to foster children’s development. The curriculum was delivered monthly for 12 months, beginning when the child was one month old. In addition, the program provided group activities such as parenting groups and linked families to events within the community.

Two studies reported that the program obtained information on psychosocial risks and depressive symptoms from obstetrical administrative records.

None of the studies described whether the program was implemented in languages other than English.

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Model Components