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Child Maltreat. 2017 Nov;22(4):334-343. doi: 10.1177/1077559517729890. Epub 2017 Sep 27.

Technology to Augment Early Home Visitation for Child Maltreatment Prevention: A Pragmatic Randomized Trial.

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1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.
2 Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.
3 School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
4 Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
6 Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
7 Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.
8 VA Connecticut Healthcare System-Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
9 University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.


Early home visitation (EHV) for child maltreatment prevention is widely adopted but has received inconsistent empirical support. Supplementation with interactive software may facilitate attention to major risk factors and use of evidence-based approaches. We developed eight 20-min computer-delivered modules for use by mothers during the course of EHV. These modules were tested in a randomized trial in which 413 mothers were assigned to software-supplemented e-Parenting Program ( ePP), services as usual (SAU), or community referral conditions, with evaluation at 6 and 12 months. Outcomes included satisfaction, working alliance, EHV retention, child maltreatment, and child maltreatment risk factors. The software was well-received overall. At the 6-month follow-up, working alliance ratings were higher in the ePP condition relative to the SAU condition (Cohen's d = .36, p < .01), with no differences at 12 months. There were no between-group differences in maltreatment or major risk factors at either time point. Despite good acceptability and feasibility, these findings provide limited support for use of this software within EHV. These findings contribute to the mixed results seen across different models of EHV for child maltreatment prevention.


child maltreatment; clinical trials; community samples; home visiting; substance abuse

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