Evid Based Nurs 1:76 doi:10.1136/ebn.1.3.76
  • Treatment

Nurse home visits to low income, first time mothers reduced pregnancy induced hypertension and childhood injuries

 Question Do prenatal and postnatal home visits by nurses improve maternal and child outcomes?


Randomised controlled trial with ≤2 years follow up.


Public obstetrics clinic in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


1139 women (mean age 18 y, 92% African-American) who were <29 weeks gestation, had no previous live births, no chronic illnesses, and ≥2 sociodemographic risk factors (unmarried, <12 y education, and unemployed). Most were unmarried (98%), ≤18 years (64%), and had incomes at or below poverty guidelines (85%).


Stratified by maternal race, age, gestational age, employment status, and geographic region, women were allocated to 1 of 4 treatment groups: (1) transportation to prenatal care (n=166); (2) treatment 1 plus developmental screening at 6, 12, and 24 months (n=515); (3) treatment 2 plus prenatal nurse home visits (mean 7 visits) (n=230); or (4) treatment 3 plus 2 years of postpartum home visits (mean 26 visits) (n=228). Groups 2 and 4 were followed up for 2 years (90% follow up based on completed office assessments); groups 1 and 3 were followed up until delivery (95% follow up based on newborn infants' records abstracted).

Main outcome measures

Pregnancy induced hypertension; preterm delivery; low birth weight; subsequent pregnancies; mothers' child rearing beliefs, education, and employment; quality of the home environment; children's …

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