Zielinski, D. S., Eckenrode, J., & Olds, D. L. (2009). Nurse home visitation and the prevention of child maltreatment: Impact on the timing of official reports. Development and Psychopathology, 21(2), 441–453. doi:10.1017/S0954579409000248
Citation Year
Used in Implementation Reports
Study Participants
The sample included pregnant, first-time mothers who were less than 30 weeks pregnant. The study actively recruited and included pregnant, first-time mothers who were less than 25 weeks pregnant, were less than 19 years old, were single parents, or had low socioeconomic status. Between April 1978 and September 1980, 500 women were interviewed and 400 were randomly assigned. This study measured the sample when the children were 15 years old. The 15-year follow-up included 324 women (others were ineligible because of child or maternal death or because they declined to participate in the follow-up). However, the study does not report the number included in the analysis, which is likely fewer than 324. Children for whom there was one year or less of maltreatment data available were excluded from the study, as were women from one of the treatment groups (described below).
The study was conducted in a small, a semi-rural city in the Appalachian region of New York.
Home Visiting Services
The original sample included two treatment groups, but only one treatment group was used in this analysis. That treatment group received home visits from a nurse beginning when the mother was pregnant and continuing until the child was 2 years old. The nurse visited the family every other week during pregnancy. Home visits were weekly for the first month after delivery, decreasing over time to once every 6 weeks when the child was 18-24 months. The treatment group also received the screening and transportation services described below for the comparison groups. Home visits focused on parent education, enhancing the women’s support systems, and linkages to community services. The treatment group that was excluded from this study received home visits during pregnancy only, and the screening and transportation services. The authors report this group was excluded because past studies had found few and inconsistent effects (pg 444).
Comparison Conditions
The study included two comparison groups, which were combined for the analyses. The first comparison group did not receive any services during pregnancy. When the children were 12 and 24 months old, they were screened for sensory and developmental problems and referred to other specialists, as appropriate. The second treatment group received free transportation (through a contract with a local taxi company) for prenatal and well-child care at local clinics and doctors’ offices. The second comparison group also received the 12- and 24-month developmental screening.
Staff Characteristics and Training
All home visitors were nurses. No other information on training is provided.
Author Affiliation
David L. Olds, a study author, is a developer of this model.
Funding Sources
Prevention Research Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH49381); the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (96ASPE278A); the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (90-CA-1631); a National Institute of Mental Health Senior Research Scientist Award (to D.L.O., 1-K05-MH01382-01); and the Smith–Richardson Foundation.
Elmira, New York Sample
Citation short
Zielinski, D. S., Eckenrode, J., & Olds, D. L. (2009)
Confounding Factors
Baseline Equivalence
Established on race and SES (assuming same sample characteristics as reported in previous analyses using the 15 year follow-up).
Not applicable
Screening Decision
Passes screens
Design Detail
Randomized controlled trial