The Philani Mentor Mothers Project aims to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable pregnant mothers and infants from low-income households, through a strategy of home visits by specially trained para-professional community health workers or “mentor mothers”.  The objective of this research is to evaluate the effect of home visits by community health workers (CHWs) on maternal and infant well being from pregnancy through the first 6 months of life for women living with HIV (WLH) and all neighborhood mothers.

In a cluster randomised controlled trial in Cape Town townships, neighborhoods were randomized within matched pairs to either standard care, comprehensive healthcare at clinics; or Philani Mentor Mothers Intervention Program, home visits by CHWs in addition to standard care . Participants were assessed during pregnancy (2% refusal) and reassessed at 1 week (92%) and 6
months (88%) postbirth. The research analyzed PIP’s effect on 28 measures of maternal and infant well being among WLH and among all mothers using random effects regression models. For each group, PIP’s overall effectiveness was evaluated using a binomial test for correlated outcomes.

Authors: Ingrid M. le Roux (Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Programme, Elonwabeni, Cape Town, South Africa), Mark Tomlinson (Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Matieland, Stellenbosch, South Africa), Jessica M. Harwood (Center for Community Health, University of California, Los Angeles), Mary J. O’Connor (Department of Psychiatry, David
Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California), Carol M. Worthman (Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA), Nokwanele Mbewu (Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Programme, Elonwabeni, Cape Town, South Africa), Jacqueline Stewart (Stellenbosch University, Matieland, South Africa), Mary Hartley (Stellenbosch University, Matieland, South Africa), Dallas Swendeman (Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles), W. Scott Comuladag (Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles), Robert E. Weiss (Department of Biostatistics, Fielding School of Public Health) and Mary Jane Rotheram-Borusi (Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute, University of California at Los Angeles).

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