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Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2005 May;19(3):194-205.

Does participation in a nurse visitation programme reduce the frequency of adverse perinatal outcomes in first-time mothers?

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Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, OK 73104, USA.


Children First (C1), a nurse home visitation programme for first-time mothers, was implemented statewide in Oklahoma in mid-1997. The objective of this study was to compare the risks of low (< 2500 g) and very low birthweight (< 1500 g), preterm (< 37 weeks) and very preterm (< 30 weeks) deliveries and infant mortality between mothers participating and not participating in C1. All 239,466 Oklahoma birth certificates were reviewed. The C1 and birth certificate databases were matched to identify C1 participants. Mother's age at delivery, education level, race, marital status, prior pregnancy loss or pregnancy risk factors, birthweight and gestational age at delivery were measured from the birth certificates. Death certificates were matched to the birth certificates to identify infant deaths. A Bayesian multivariable logistic regression was used to analyse the data. Among single mothers without pregnancy risk factors, the risks of all study outcomes were lower for participants in C1: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.89, [95% Bayesian Credible Interval (BCI) 0.79, 1.00] for preterm delivery; aOR 0.71, [95% BCI 0.50, 0.98] for very preterm delivery; aOR 0.86, [95% BCI 0.75, 0.98] for low birthweight; aOR 0.77, [95% BCI 0.56, 1.02] for very low birthweight and aOR 0.36, [95% BCI 0.17, 0.63] for infant mortality. These risk reductions were not observed among married mothers. In both single and married mothers, the presence of pregnancy risk factors reduced the impact of C1 on lowering the risk of low birthweight and preterm deliveries. The C1 programme targets young, pregnant women of low socio-economic level. We found that among single mothers, the risks of perinatal adverse outcomes are reduced or similar to those found in non-participating mothers. A reduced effect of C1 in the presence of pregnancy risk factors may be because mothers with pregnancy risk factors who did not participate in C1 received better prenatal care, or that C1 interventions do not impact these particular factors. C1 shows promise in reducing infant mortality in single mothers. Lower incidence of preterm and very preterm deliveries is especially interesting and future analyses should focus on isolating programme components specifically associated with influencing these outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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