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Arch Dis Child. 2007 Mar;92(3):229-33. Epub 2006 Oct 26.

Role of home visiting in improving parenting and health in families at risk of abuse and neglect: results of a multicentre randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation.

Author information

1
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. jane.barlow@warwick.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of an intensive home visiting programme in improving outcomes for vulnerable families.

DESIGN:

Multicentre randomised controlled trial in which eligible women were allocated to receive home visiting (n = 67) or standard services (n = 64). Incremental cost analysis.

SETTING:

40 general practitioner practices across 2 counties in the UK.

PARTICIPANTS:

131 vulnerable pregnant women.

INTERVENTION:

Selected health visitors were trained in the Family Partnership Model to provide a weekly home visiting service from 6 months antenatally to 12 months postnatally.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Mother-child interaction, maternal psychological health attitudes and behaviour, infant functioning and development, and risk of neglect or abuse.

RESULTS:

At 12 months, differences favouring the home-visited group were observed on an independent assessment of maternal sensitivity (p<0.04) and infant cooperativeness (p<0.02). No differences were identified on any other measures. A non-significant increase in the likelihood of intervention group infants being the subject of child protection proceedings, or being removed from the home, and one death in the control group were found. The mean incremental cost per infant of the home visiting intervention was 3246 pounds sterling (bootstrapped 95% CI for the difference 1645-4803 pounds sterling).

CONCLUSION:

This intervention may have the potential to improve parenting and increase the identification of infants at risk of abuse and neglect in vulnerable families. Further investigation is needed, along with long-term follow-up to assess possible sleeper effects.

PMID:
17068074
PMCID:
PMC2083433
DOI:
10.1136/adc.2006.095117
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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