Moving Toward Precision in Prenatal Evidence‑based Home Visiting to Achieve Good Birth Outcomes: Assessing the Alignment of Local Programs with Their National Models Link copied to clipboard

July 2023


Ciara Z. Spinosa, Lori Burrell, Kelly M. Bower, Kay O'Neill, and Anne K. Duggan


Background: Low birthweight and preterm birth rates are higher in the United States than in other developed countries and exhibit pronounced racial inequities. Home visiting is a strategy to promote equity in birth outcomes. Research points to precision home visiting as the path to equity. The purpose of this study is to describe local programs’ risk reduction priorities, intended behavioral pathways, and expectations of home visitors; compare these local program features with those of their national model; and assess the strength of implementation systems to support staff in meeting job expectations. Methods: We surveyed local programs implementing one of four evidence-based home visiting models that aim to promote good birth outcomes: Family Spirit, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Parents as Teachers. Results: Representatives from 169 local programs completed the survey. Overall, 59% endorsed all their model’s high priority risks, 16% endorsed all its required behavioral pathways, and 11% endorsed all its required techniques. Local programs went beyond their national model’s explicit intentions. Overall, 91% of local programs prioritized risks beyond those of their model, 85% endorsed behavioral pathways beyond those of their model, 95% endorsed visitors’ use of techniques not explicitly endorsed by their model but compatible with it, and 19% endorsed use of techniques judged incompatible by their model. Implementation system strength was positively associated with local program and model expectations. Conclusions: Precision home visiting to achieve health equity requires shared learning of what works best for whom. This observational study showed the Precision Paradigm’s usefulness for cross-model research to advance precision.

Access Type: Open Access

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