Olds, D. L., Henderson, C. R., Cole, R., Eckenrode, J., Kitzman, H., Luckey, D., et al. (1998). Long-term effects of nurse home visitation on children’s criminal and antisocial behavior: 15-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 280(14), 1238–1244.
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 is a longitudinal follow-up at 15 years for the women originally enrolled in the study and their children. At this follow-up, the study included data on 330 of the original mothers (177 in the program group and 152 in the comparison group) and 315 children of the original mothers (171 in the program group and 144 in the comparison group). At enrollment, on average, the women included in this study were about 19 years old and had approximately 11 years of education. Roughly 40 percent of the sample was married.
The study was conducted in Elmira, a metropolitan area within a semi-rural county in the Appalachian region of New York that has approximately 100,000 residents (information obtained from other studies using the Elmira sample).
The study included two treatment groups, which were combined for the analyses. The first treatment group received home visits from a nurse during pregnancy. The nurse visited the family every other week and made nine visits, on average, which lasted one hour and 15 minutes. 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. Home visits were once a week for the first month after delivery, decreasing over time to once every 6 weeks when the child was 18-24 months. Home visits focused on parent education, enhancing the women’s support systems, and linkages to community services.
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.
All home visitors were nurses. No other information on training is provided.
Senior Research Scientist Award 1-K05-MH01382-01 (Dr. Olds); the Prevention Research and Behavioral Medicine Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH49381) and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services (grant 96ASPE278A).