Outcomes of home visits for pregnant mothers and their infants

A cluster randomised controlled trial

This research paper evaluates 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 and all neighbourhood mothers.

Cape Town township neighborhoods were randomised within matched pairs to either standard care, comprehensive healthcare at clinics, or Philani Intervention Programme (PIP) home visits by CHWs in addition to standard care.

Participants were assessed during pregnancy and reassessed at 1 week and 6 months  after birth. The study analysed PIP’s effect on 28 measures of maternal and infant well being among women living with HIV and among all mothers using random effects regression models. For each group, PIP’s overall effectiveness was evaluated using a binomial test for related outcomes.

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 Ingrid M. le Roux, Mark Tomlinson, Jessica M. Harwood, Mary J. O’Connor, Carol M. Worthman, Nokwanele Mbewu, Jacqueline Stewart, Mary Hartley, Dallas Swendeman, W. Scott Comulada, Robert E. Weiss and Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in 2013.

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