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Maternal and Child Mortality: Analysis of Nurse Home Visiting in 3 RCTs

      Introduction

      The impact of intensive prenatal and infant/toddler nurse home visiting on low-income mothers’ and children's survival was examined in 3 RCTs following participants over 2-decade periods after trial registration during pregnancy (data gathered between 1978 and 2015 and analyzed between 2016 and 2020).

      Methods

      All-cause and external-cause maternal mortality and preventable-cause child mortality were examined using National Death Index data. Survival rates were calculated for all the 1,138 mothers randomized and 1,076 live-born children in the second RCT (conducted in Memphis, TN) and for all the 1,135 mothers randomized and 1,087 live-born children in the first and third RCTs combined (conducted in Elmira, NY and Denver, CO).

      Results

      There were no significant nurse home visiting–control differences in maternal mortality in Memphis or Elmira and Denver. Posthoc analysis, combining all 3 trials, suggested a reduction in external-cause maternal mortality among nurse-visited mothers (p=0.054). There was a marginally significant nurse home visiting–control difference in preventable-cause child mortality (p=0.09) in Memphis.

      Conclusions

      These results support examining maternal and child mortality in additional nurse home visiting trials with larger samples living in disadvantaged contexts. Intensive prenatal and infant/toddler home visiting by nurses for mothers and children living in poverty may decrease premature death.
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