Evaluating perinatal home visiting among SA mothers and infants

A cluster randomised controlled effectiveness trial

In this study Cape Town township neighbourhoods were randomised within matched pairs to 1) the control, healthcare at clinics or 2) a home visiting intervention by CBW trained in cognitive-behavioural strategies to address health risks (by the Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Programme), in addition to clinic care.

Participants were assessed during pregnancy and most were reassessed at two weeks after birth, six months and 18 months later. 32 measures of maternal/infant well-being were analysed over the 18 month follow-up period using longitudinal random effects regressions. A binomial test for correlated outcomes evaluated overall effectiveness over time. The 18 month post-birth assessment outcomes were also examined on their own and as a function of the number of home visits received.

The Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Project has been addressing child health and nutrition problems in informal settlements around Cape Town since 1979. Ilifa Labantwana supported the evaluation of the study in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The findings of this research stem from this evaluation.

Written by Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Mark Tomlinson, Ingrid M. le Roux, Jessica M. Harwood, Scott Comulada, Mary J. O’Connor, Robert E. Weiss and Carol M. Worthman. Published by PLOS ONE in 2014.

If you would like a copy of this study, please email us on info@ilifalabantwana.co.za