Prenatal Nurse Home Visitation Provided to Black Women Reduces Chances of Preterm Delivery, Could Help Reduce Disparities, Study Finds
"The Impact of Nurse Case Management Home Visitation on Birth Outcomes in African-American Women," (.pdf) Journal of the National Medical Association: The study examines whether nurse home visitation had an effect on whether black women gave birth prematurely or to low-birthweight infants. Researchers looked at existing data from 109 women participating in the Black Babies Start More Infants Living Equally Healthy program in Montgomery County, Md. The program provides no-cost nurse case management and home visitation before and after pregnant women give birth, as well as seminars on topics related to pregnancy. Participants' desires and needs generally determine whether they receive home visits, according to the study. Researchers found that women who received the visits were 63% less likely to deliver preterm than women who had not received the home visits. However, the researchers said that the study sample size was not large enough to determine the effect of home visits on low birthweight. The study concludes that although further research is needed to understand and duplicate the home visitation program, "home visits appeared to be protective against preterm delivery and could contribute to reducing racial disparities in infant mortality" (Wells et al., JNMA, May 2008).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.