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Long-Term Effects of Prenatal and Infancy Nurse Home Visitation on the Life Course of Youths, 19-Year Follow-Up of a Randomized Trial

NCJ Number
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Volume: 164 Issue: 1 Dated: 2000 Pages: 9-15
John Eckenrode; Mary Campa; Dennis W. Luckey; et al.
Date Published
7 pages
This study examined the effect of prenatal and infancy nurse home-visitation on the life-course development of 19-year-old youths whose mothers participated in the program.

A randomized trial was conducted with 310 youths from the 400 families enrolled in the Elmira Nurse-Family Partnership program in a semi-rural community in New York. Families received a mean of nine home visits (range, 0-16) during pregnancy and 23 (range, 0-50) from birth through the child's second birthday. Main outcome measures involved youth self-reports of educational achievement, reproductive behaviors, welfare use, and criminal involvement. Relative to the comparison group, girls in the pregnancy and infancy nurse-visited group were less likely to have been arrested (10 percent vs 30 percent); relative risk [RR], 0.33; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.13-0.82) and convicted (4 percent vs 20 percent; 0.20; 0.05-0.85), and they had fewer lifetime arrests (mean: 0.10 vs 0.54; incidence RR [IRR], 0.18; 95 percent CI, 0.06-0.54) and convictions (0.04 vs 0.37; 0.11; 0.02-0.51). Nurse-visited girls born to unmarried and low-income mothers had fewer children (11 percent vs 30 percent; RR, 0.35; 95 percent CI, 0.12-1.02), and less Medicaid use (18 percent vs 45 percent; 0.40; 0.18-0.87) than their comparison group counterparts. The study concluded that prenatal and infancy home visitation reduced the proportion of girls entering the criminal justice system. For girls born to high-risk mothers, there were additional positive program effects consistent with results from earlier phases of this trial. There were few program effects for boys. 4 tables, 3 figures, and 28 references (publisher abstract modified)