Table 3

Characteristics of studies reporting other measures of parenting

Reference Group allocation Score Intervenors Participants Intervention
McNeil and Holland (1972), USA34 Non-random0.21Public health nursesMothers with newbornsHome visits + group child health teaching (n=93). Mean no. of visits = 3.1
Control: home visits for teaching child health (n=96) Mean no. of visits = 4.3
Grantham-McGregor and Desai (1975), Jamaica35 Non-random0.39NursesMothers with 3 year old childrenInt: home visits (n=22). Weekly for 8 months. Maximum 29 visits
Con: no home visits (n=22)
Intervention: use of toys to encourage child development
Gutelius et al (1977), USA36 Random0.59Paediatrician/nurse1st born black infants, low income familiesHome visits (n=49) visits from 7 months gestation to age 3 years. Control: no home visits (n=48)
Intervention = counselling and anticipatory guidance, cognitive stimulation
Hall (1980)38/Law-Harrison and Twardosz (1986), USA39 Random0.41NursePrimiparas, normal pregnancy and deliveryHome visit (n=15). 1 visit only. Control: no home visit (n=15). Intervention = teaching re infant behaviour
Siegel et al (1980), USA37 Random0.36ParaprofessionalLow income familiesNormal labour and delivery: A: early and extended contact + home visits (n=47). 9 visits age 0–3 months
B: early and extended contact, no home visits (n=50). C: home visits (n=53). 9 visits age 0–3 months
Control: no early or extended contact, no home visit (n=52)
Complicated labour +/− delivery: A: extended contact + home visits (n=60). 9 visits age 0–3 months
Control: no extended contact, no home visits (n=59)
Intervention = emotional support and aims to promote maternal involvement with family
Stanwick et al (1982), Canada40 Random0.39Public health nursesMothers with newbornsHome visit (n=80). 1 visit within 3 weeks of delivery. Control: no home visit (n=76)
Intervention: enhance maternal confidence in caring for infant, increase knowledge and skills in child care
Maddenet al (1984), USA41 Random0.46Volunteer women toy demonstratorsLow income families, infants 21–33 months old3 cohorts: 1974: home visit (n=22) 46 visits over 24 months. Control: no home visits (n=26)
1975: home visit (n=17). Control: no home visit (n=12). 1976: home visit (n=29)
Control: no home visit (n=26). Intervention = toys and books left in home with input from toy demonstrator
Control = verbal interaction stimulus materials left in home. No input from toy demonstrator
Seitzet al (1985), USA42 Non-random0.14Home visitor, paediatrician, primary care day workerLow socioeconomic status, first child, inner cityHome visit (n=17). Mean 28 visits, pregnancy to 30 months of age.
Control: no home visit (n=17). Intervention = problem solving, obtain adequate food/housing, discuss long term problems, reduce physical dangers, liaise with other services
Barker et al (1988),46(1994), UK50 Not clearly specified0.46Health visitorsChildren on caseloads, age 3–27 months46 Home visits (n=67846 and n=34850). Monthly visits
Control: no home visits (n=37346 and n=22250) Intervention = child development programme
Primiparas age 14–2150
Beckwith (1988), USA43 Random0.36Nurse, early childhood educatorPregnant and postpartum women, less than high school education, un/semi-skilled job, low birth weight, preterm infants, >3 days intensive neonatal careHome visits (n=37). Until infant aged 13 months. Control: no home visits (n=55)
Intervention = develop supportive relationship with mother
Resnicket al (1988), USA45 Random0.57Paediatric nurse and child development specialistPremature infants <1800 g at birthInt: home visits (n=21). Weekly visits until adjusted birth date, then 2 per month from child development specialist for 12 months. Con: no home visits (n=20)
Intervention: language, social, cognitive, muscular exercises for infants and parenting activities
Scarr and McCartney (1988), Bermuda44 Random0.55Community mothersMothers with 2 year oldsHome visits (n=78). Weekly visits for 2 years
Control: no home visits (n=39)
Intervention = promote cognitive and social development, train mothers to teach child effectively
Sutton (1992), England47 Sequential0.36PsychologistDifficult preschool childrenA: group sessions (n=7). Weekly sessions for 8 weeks B: home visits (n=9). Weekly visits for 8 weeks
C: telephone contact (n=11). Weekly contact for 8 weeks. Control: waiting list for parent training (n=10)
Intervention = parent training teaching behavioural principles
Thompson et al (1992), USA48 Random0.46NursesBlack, adolescent, unmarried mothers, low socioeconomic statusHome visits (n=20). Monthly visits for 2 years. Control: no home visits (n=20)
Intervention = encourage positive parent–child relationship and encourage parents to interact with child in developmentally conducive way
Johnson et al (1993), Ireland49 Random0.25Community mothersDisadvantaged first time mothersHome visits (n=127). Monthly visits during 1st year of life
Control: routine care (n=121)
Intervention = child development programme
Seeleyet al (1996), England51 Non-random0.43Health visitorsPostnatal womenHome visits (n=70). 1 visit per week for 8 weeks. Control: routine primary care (n=30, historical controls)
Intervention = counselling, including use of cognitive behavioural skills
  • Note that Barker (1988)46 and Barker (1994)50 are two separate studies with same intervention.