Holmberg, John; Luckey, Dennis; Olds, David. (2011) Teacher data for the Denver Year-9 follow-up. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Women were recruited through 21 antepartum clinics that served low-income pregnant women. Recruitment focused on women who had no previous live births and either qualified for Medicaid or had no private health insurance. From March 1994 to June 1995, 1,178 women were invited to participate and 735 consented and were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a control group, nurse home visiting, and paraprofessional home visiting. Randomization was conducted within strata based on maternal race (Hispanic, white, black, American Indian, or Asian); maternal gestational age (fewer than 32 weeks, 32 weeks or more); and geographic region. This study augments the data collection procedures of the Denver trial of the NFP . The authors conducted follow-up evaluations with interviews and direct tests of the children on 575 families.
Denver, Colorado metropolitan area
The study included two program groups: one serviced by paraprofessionals and one serviced by nurses. Women assigned to either group received developmental screening and referral services for their children and home visits during pregnancy and infancy (until the child was 2 years old). Both groups had the same goals: (1) to improve women’s health-related behaviors, (2) to support parents in providing competent care, and (3) to encourage planning future pregnancies and promote education and employment. Paraprofessionals conducted 6.3 home visits, on average, during pregnancy and 16 visits during infancy. Nurses conducted 6.5 home visits, on average, during pregnancy and 21 visits during infancy.
Women in the comparison group received developmental screening and referral services for their children at 6, 12, 15, 21, and 24 months.
Nurse home visitors were required to have a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and experience in community or maternal and child health nursing. Paraprofessionals were required to have a high school education. Although those with college preparation in the “helping” professions were excluded, preference was given to paraprofessionals who had worked in human services. Both the nurse and paraprofessional home visitors received one month of training before working with families. Nurses and paraprofessionals had the same caseloads (approximately 25 families), but paraprofessionals had 2 supervisors for 10 visitors, compared with 1 supervisor for 10 nurse home visitors.