Impact of a universal perinatal home-visiting program on reduction in race disparities in maternal and child health: Two randomised controlled trials and a field quasi-experiment.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Public health interventions must become accountable for reduction of race disparities, particularly among Black, Hispanic, and Non-Hispanic White families in the United States. Family Connects (FC) is a universal perinatal home-visiting program that assesses family-specific needs, offers support, and provides connections to community resources to address identified needs. Two previously-published randomised controlled trials and a field quasi-experiment have shown positive impact on maternal mental health, infant emergency medical care utilization, and government investigations for child maltreatment; however, these reports have not tested impact on reducing race disparities in these outcomes. The current report examined three questions in these trials: 1) the extent of race disparities in maternal and infant health and well-being, absent intervention; 2) whether intervention can be implemented with high reach and fidelity among all race groups; and 3) whether assignment to intervention reduces race disparities in important outcomes. METHODS: Data were re-examined from: 1) a randomised controlled trial of 4777 birthing families in Durham, NC, USA; 2) a replication randomised controlled trial of 923 birthing families in Durham, NC, USA; and 3) a quasi-experiment of 988 birthing families in rural NC, USA. Families were classified as Black, Hispanic, Non-Hispanic White, or Other. Disparity reduction was tested by the interaction effect between treatment assignment and race. FINDINGS: 1) In the absence of intervention, large and statistically significant differences between Black familes and Non-Hispanic White families were found in maternal anxiety, maternal depression, father non-support, child emergency medical care, and child maltreatment investigations. Few differences were found between Non-Hispanic White familes and Hispanic families.2) High rates of participation in treatment were found for each race group.3) Across studies, assignment to FC was associated with statistically significant reductions in 7 of 12 disparities, in maternal anxiety and depression, father non-support, infant emergency medical care, and child maltreatment investigations. INTERPRETATION: This study provides a method, metric, and mandate to prioritise testing of whether public health interventions reduce race disparities in family outcomes. FUNDING: This research was supported by grant R01HD069981 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and a grant from The Duke Endowment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dodge, KA; Goodman, WB; Bai, Y; Best, DL; Rehder, P; Hill, S

Published Date

  • November 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 /

Start / End Page

  • 100356 -

PubMed ID

  • 36778074

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9904066

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2667-193X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.lana.2022.100356


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England