Infant Mortality and Home Visit Programs

June, 2019

Jenna Reardanz

Camille Cioffe, Trenna Valdo, Caroline Friedman Levy, Tasha R Howe, Anne Farell, Susie Breitenstein

We have begun to identify researcher-oriented professionals who have expertise in the following areas:

  1. Comparing different types of home visitors within programs

  2. Outcomes and costs of home visit programs. 

  3. Impact of these programs on infant mortality and child health.

Main Points​

  1. Programs typically utilize commnity-based visitors​, non-medical visitors- like social workers, or medical visitors- like nurses in home visit programs. Educated professionals, medical or non-medical, seem to be the most effective. However, the outcomes for educated professionals is not significantly different thean the community-based visitors with quality training. Additionally, community-based visitors are more cost effective.

  2. The majority of quality programs have a positive impact on both infant and maternal health outcomes . Some programs have improved family functioning and family self-sufficiency. Programs typically cost between $2,000 and $14,000 per family. This equates to a combined federal and state savings of between $22,000 and $34,000 per family over an 18 year period. The majority of these savings would come from a drop in Medicaid-related aid.

  3. Most programs have a positive impact on infant health and subsequently on infant mortality. One promising program, Nurse Family Partnership, has shown to decrease infant mortality rates by 48%. It is imprtant to remember that prevention is key, and that preventing preterm birth and promoting healthy pregnancies will consequently decrease infant mortality. Additionally, programs seem to work to decrease parental maltreatment and improve infant health, therefore decreasing infant mortality.

Key Resources

  • A summary of home visit effectiveness can be found here

  • This resource includes information regarding a variety of different home visit programs. 

  • This article discusses the evidence regarding home visiting programs for maternal & infant mortality. 

  • This brief outlines the potential cost savings from home visit programs.

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