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Nurse home visits during pregnancy and early childhood had positive effects on aspects of maternal life course 3 years later

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QUESTION: Does a programme of nurse home visits during pregnancy and the first 2 years of the child's life continue to affect the life course of high risk mothers 3 years after the end of the programme?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, blinded (outcome assessors) controlled trial with follow up at 3 years after the programme ended.


An obstetrics clinic and county health department in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


743 women (mean age 18 y, 97% black) who were <29 weeks pregnant, had no previous live births, no chronic illnesses that might affect pregnancy outcome, and ⩾2 sociodemographic risk factors (unmarried, <12 y education, or unemployed). Follow up was 87%.


228 women received free transportation to prenatal appointments, an average of 7 home visits during pregnancy, 1 postpartum hospital visit, developmental screening for the child at ages 6, 12, and 24 months, and an average of 26 home visits until the child's second birthday …

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  • Sources of funding: US Department of Health and Human Services, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • For correspondence: Dr D L Olds, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 1825 Marion St, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80218, USA. Fax +1 303 864 5236.

  • * Information provided by author.