Table 1

Characteristics of studies reporting HOME scores, including those also reporting other measures of parenting

Reference Group allocation Score Intervenors Participants Intervention
1-150Field et al (1980), USA15 Random0.52Trained teenage black female studentsBlack teen mothers, low socioeconomic status, preterm infantsHome visit (n=30). 2 visits per week birth–4 months; then one per month. Control: no home visit (n=30)
Intervention = education on child development, child rearing, teach stimulation of child, facilitate mother–child interaction
1-150Larson (1980), Canada16 Sequential0.39Psychology graduatesWorking class familiesA: pre- and postnatal home visits (n=35). 4 postnatal visits age 1–6 weeks, 5 visits age 6 weeks–15 months
B: postnatal home visits (n=36). 7 visits age 6 weeks–6 months, 3 visits age 6–15 months
Control: no home visits (n=44)
Intervention = counselling and advice on care tasking, mother–infant interaction, social status, child development
1-150Field et al (1982), USA17 Random0.52TeachersBlack teen mothers, low socioeconomic status, term infantsA: home visit parent training (n=34). Biweekly visits for 6 months, B: nursery parent training (n=36) four hours per day for 6 months
Control: No parent training (n=35)
Intervention A: infant stimulation care taking, mother–infant interaction exercises. B: parent training, job training
1-150Barrera et al (1986), Canada18 Random0.55Infant parent therapistsInfants born 1979–81A: home visits (n=16). 1 visit per week age 0–4 months, then 1 visit per 2 weeks age 5–9 months
B: home visits (n=22). 1 visit per month age 9–12 months
Control A: no home visits (n= 21, preterm infants). Control B: no home visits (n=24, full term infants)
Intervention A: improve child's development. Intervention B: A + improve maternal–child interaction
Olds et al (1986, 1994), USA19 20 Random0.50NursesChildren born to teenagers, unmarried, low socioeconomic statusA: Screening at 12 and 24 months of age, no home visits (n=90). B: A + transport to clinics, no home visits (n=94)
C: B + antenatal home visits (n=100). Mean 9 visits in pregnancy
D: C + postnatal home visits (n=116). Mean combined ante- and postnatal home visits =23
Intervention (C and D) = parent education, promotion of informal maternal support, linkage with community services
Barnardet al (1988)/Booth et al (1989), USA21 22 Random0.29NursesPregnant and postpartum women lacking social supportHome visit mental health model (n=68). Mean 19 visits from 22 weeks gestation to 12 months of age
Control: home visit information/resource utilisation model (n=79). Mean 14 visits (22 weeks gestation–12 months)
Intervention: mental health model = therapeutic relation with pregnant women to deal with interpersonal situations and problem solving. Information/resource model information on physical and developmental health of child
Osofsky et al (1988), USA23 Random0.38Community womenTeenage, unmarried mothersHome visits + telephone help line + drop in centre. Weekly visits for 1st month, then monthly to 30 months of age
Control: no home visits. Total n = 130 (intervention + control, figures not given for each arm)
Intervention = teaching child stimulation discussion of parenting issues and maternal problems
1-150Infante-Rivard et al (1989), Canada24 Random0.46Public health nursesSocioeconomically disadvantaged familiesHome visits (n=21). 3 prenatal visits + 5 postnatal visits. Control: no home visits (n=26)
Intervention = counselling, teaching about child development, child health and behaviour
1-150Wasiket al (1990), USA25 Random0.52Day care teachers, social workers, nursesChildren at risk of cognitive difficultiesA: home visits + child development programme (n=16). Weekly visits first 3 years of life
B: home visits (n=25). Weekly visits for 3 years. Control: no home visits/child development programme (n=23)
Intervention = promotion of parent problem solving strategies
1-150Huxley and Warner (1993), USA26 Non-random0.18NursesFamilies referred to tri-agency intervention programmeHome visits (n=20). Visit frequency dependent on need. Control: routine care (n=20)
Intervention = prevention of parent dysfunction, education in maternal and child health
1-150Black et al (1994), USA27 Random0.57Community nursesMothers with prenatal cocaine/heroin useHome visits (n=31). 2 prenatal visits. Biweekly visits from birth–18 months of age. Control: no home visits (n=29)
Intervention = maternal support, promote parenting, child development, use of resources and advocacy
1-150Casey et al (1994), USA28 Random0.64Paediatrician, nurse, social workerInfants with failure to thriveHome visits (n=67). 1 visit per week year 1. One visit per 2 weeks years 2–3. Control: no home visits (n=113)
Intervention = cognitive, language, social development, help with managing parental self identified problems
Marcenko and Spence (1994), USA29 Random0.25Lay home visitorsPregnant and postpartum women at risk of child abuseHome visits (n=125). Prenatal 1 visit per 2 weeks. Postnatal weeks 1–6 weekly visit, weeks 7–26
1 visit per 2 weeks, weeks 27–52 monthly visit. Control: no home visits (n=100).
Intervention = peer support, identify service needs, health education, parent training
1-150Black et al (1995), USA30 Random0.61Lay home visitorsChildren with failure to thriveHome visits + clinics (n=64). Weekly visits for one year. Control: clinics only (n=66)
Stratified by age of child: younger group = 0–12 months; older group = 21.1–24.9 months
Intervention = maternal support, promotion of parenting, child development, use of resources and advocacy
Shapiro (1995), Canada31 Random0.18Community nurse and home makerLow birth weight newbornsHome visits (n=50). Mean 3.8 visits + 8.4 telephone contacts up to 8 weeks post discharge
Control: routine home visits (n=50). Mean 1.4 visits + 1.9 telephone contacts up to 8 weeks post discharge
Intervention = early discharge from hospital, personal maternal support, respite care, help with infant care, light housekeeping, information on infant care
Reference Group allocation Score Intervenors Participants Intervention
1-150Kitzman et al (1997), USA32 Random0.79NursesAfrican–American women, 1st pregnancy <29 weeks gestation, >1 sociodemographic risk factorsHome visits (n=228). Mean number prenatal visits = 7, mean number from birth to age 24 months = 26
Control: no home visit, but free transport for prenatal and child development services (n=515)
Intervention = helping women improve health related behaviour, child care, and life course development
1-150Davis and Spurr (1998), UK33 Non random0.54Health visitors, medical officersPreschool children, multiple psychosocial problemsIntervention: home visits and routine community services (n=87). Weekly 1 hour sessions. Mean 6 visits
Control: routine community services (n=38)
  • 1-150 Studies whose outcome measures have been included in the meta analysis.