Resource Mothers: Effect of a Home Visitation Program Using Indigenous Paraprofessionals on Maternal-Infant Preventive Services, Modifiable Risk Factors and Health Outcomes

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project completed:
April 2003
The prototype Resource Mothers Program, conducted in three rural South Carolina counties from 1980 to 1984, was a highly structured home visitation program using indigenous paraprofessionals to provide health education and social support to pregnant teenagers during pregnancy and the infant s first year. To date, evaluation of home visitation programs using indigenous paraprofessionals has focused on program impact on adequacy of prenatal care and birth outcomes (birth weight, gestational age), with the exception of one study that also measured use of related preventive services and medical care cost savings. Our research will expand the work of previous investigators by adding evaluation of modifiable risk factors for poor birth outcomes and illness/injury among infants, adequacy of preventive services during the first year of life, and program cost effectiveness. This midcourse evaluation of a Resource Mothers Program in a rural Health Professional Shortage Area will allow the investigators to assess the correctness and completeness of data collection as well as the adequacy of procedures for merging and managing data obtained from state databases. Based upon the midcourse evaluation, procedures can be modified and refined to obtain more accurate data and manage it adequately to ensure a successful end-of-program evaluation.