Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2000 Sep;89(434):43-52.

Secondary prevention in child health: effects of psychological intervention, particularly home visitation, on children's development and other outcome variables.

Author information

Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


This paper reviews interventions targeting socially deprived families, families with low birthweight/premature children, and some other problems (child abuse, sensitivity/attachment, postnatal depression). Conclusions are mainly based on randomized controlled trials. Earlier reviews in the field have emphasized the importance of intensive, enduring home visitation and of early education programmes for young children. Home visitation may positively effect several outcomes, including health behaviour, child safety and stimulation. Rates of child abuse and neglect have proven difficult to influence, but home visitation may result in other gains such as fewer accidents and serious injuries, and greater home safety. The cognitive development of low birthweight and premature children may be positively influenced by home visitation, particularly in combination with an early stimulation programme in the neonatal unit and pre-school placement. Postnatally depressed mothers have been shown to improve substantially from nurse counselling once a week for 6-8 wk. It is suggested that home visitation should be tried on a systematic basis, and that early pre-school experiences should be offered to children in different risk situations. Child Health Centres should introduce a screening programme for postnatal depression. Specialist child health units should be encouraged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center