Is home visiting an effective strategy? A meta-analytic review of home visiting programs for families with young children

Child Dev. Sep-Oct 2004;75(5):1435-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00750.x.


Home visiting programs for families with young children have been in effect for many years; however, this is the first comprehensive meta-analytic effort to quantify the usefulness of home visits as a strategy for helping families across a range of outcomes. Sixty home visiting programs contributed data to analysis within 5 child and 5 parent outcome groups. Standardized effect sizes were computed for each end-of-treatment outcome measure, for each treatment versus control contrast. Weighted mean standardized effect sizes ranged from -.043 to.318; 6 of the 10 significantly differed from 0. No one program characteristic consistently affected effect sizes across outcome groups. The extent to which these findings have practical use for the field is discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse / prevention & control
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services / supply & distribution*
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prenatal Care
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Program Development*
  • Risk Factors
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data