Olds, D. L., Kitzman, H., Cole, R., Robinson, J., Sidora, K., Luckey, D. W., et al. (2004). Effects of nurse home-visiting on maternal life course and child development: Age 6 follow-up results of a randomized trial. Pediatrics, 114(6), 1550–1559
The sample included pregnant, first-time mothers who were less than 29 weeks pregnant. Women were recruited through an obstetrical clinic if they had no previous live births, no chronic illnesses linked to fetal growth retardation or preterm delivery, and at least two of the following sociodemographic characteristics: unmarried, less than 12 years of education, and unemployed. Between June 1990 and August 1991, 1,290 women were invited to participate and 1,139 consented and were randomly assigned. At enrollment, 92 percent of the women enrolled were African American, 98 percent were unmarried, and 64 percent were age 18 or younger. This study measured the sample when the children were 6 years old. The study sample included 641 women, 197 in the program group and 444 in the comparison group.
The study included two treatment groups. The first treatment group received home visits from a nurse during pregnancy and two postpartum visits (one in the hospital prior to discharge and one in the home). The treatment group also received the screening and transportation services described below for the comparison groups. The second treatment group received the same services as the first treatment group, but the home visiting continued until the child was 2 years old. On average, the nurses completed 7 home visits during pregnancy and 26 home visits postpartum. Nurses used a detailed protocol for each visit, which focused on health-related behaviors, parenting, education, and employment. The two treatment groups were combined for the prenatal analysis. Only the second treatment group was followed for postnatal outcomes.
The study included two comparison groups. The first comparison group received taxicab transportation for prenatal care appointments. The second comparison group received the transportation plus developmental screening and referral to services when the children were 6, 12, and 24 months old. The two comparison groups were combined for the prenatal analysis. Only the second group was followed for postnatal outcomes.
All home visitors were nurses. No other information on training is provided.
The Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services (grant 90PD0215/01); the Hearst Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (grant 027901); and a Senior Research Scientist Award (1-K05-MH01382-01) to D.L.O.