HealthDay News — According to a study published in Pediatrics, a universal home visiting model that employs a nurse-parent educator team as visitors in the homes of primary caregivers and their first-born children can reduce health care use in the first year.

M Rebecca Kilburn, PhD, and Jill Cannon, PhD, from the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, conducted a randomized clinical trial of an intensive visiting program delivered in homes of primary caregivers and their first-born children in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Two hundred forty-four primary caregivers participated in the survey.

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The researchers found that the treatment-group children were one-third less likely to visit the emergency department in their first year of life (P=.02) and were 41% less likely to have visited a primary care provider 9 or more times (P<.001). 

There was no between-group difference for hospitalizations or injuries requiring medical attention. For high-risk and lower-risk families, the universal program reduced infant health care use.

“Children in families randomly assigned to the program had less health care use in their first year, demonstrating that a universal prevention home visiting model delivered by a nurse-parent educator team can reduce infant health care use,” the authors write.


Kilburn MR and Cannon JS. “Home Visiting And Use Of Infant Health Care: A Randomized Clinical Trial”. Pediatrics. 2016. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1274. [Epub ahead of print]

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