In Ohio, African American babies die at 2.5–3 times the rate of White babies. Preterm birth and low birth weight are the leading causes of infant mortality. Home visiting is an evidence-based strategy for serving low-income pregnant women; however, there are relatively few rigorous studies examining its effect on birth outcomes.
This study uses a propensity score technique to estimate the causal effect of participation in home visiting on prematurity and low birth weight among a low-income, predominantly African American sample (N = 26,814).
We found that participation in home visiting significantly reduced the odds of experiencing both adverse birth events, with a larger program effect for the low birth weight outcome.
Conclusions for Practice
Results suggest that selective prevention strategies must be accompanied by universal attempts to improve the health and life circumstances of low income and minority women.
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This study is funded by the City of Cleveland Division of Public Health with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (Award #: SPC203894).
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Anthony, E.R., Cho, Y., Fischer, R.L. et al. Examining the Causal Impact of Prenatal Home Visiting on Birth Outcomes: A Propensity Score Analysis. Matern Child Health J 25, 947–955 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-020-03054-7
- Home visiting
- Birth outcomes
- Preterm birth
- Low birth weight
- Propensity score