PEDIATRICS Article Highlights Innovations within Nurse-Family Partnership

Nov 07, 2013, 12:06 ET from Nurse-Family Partnership

Significant studies underway add to research foundation of program

DENVER, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The November 2013 supplement edition of PEDIATRICS contains an in-depth look at current research and innovations, as well as a process for moving these innovations to practice, for the Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP) – the leading evidence-based home visiting program for young mothers.  PEDIATRICS is the official peer-reviewed journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics.

NFP has an unsurpassed body of evidence of its effectiveness, beginning with three randomized, controlled trials. Yet, "evidence-based interventions are rarely final products," as lead author of the article and Nurse-Family Partnership founder David Olds, PhD, said. "It is important that the new studies being conducted to improve the Nurse-Family Partnership program in community practice also retain the program's evidentiary foundations that were established over more than three decades of research."

In the Nurse-Family Partnership program, registered nurses make home visits to low-income women who are having their first babies, from pregnancy until the child turns 2.  The program's main goals are a healthy pregnancy and delivery, improved child health and development through improved parenting skills, and economic self-sufficiency for the families.

The PEDIATRICS article, "Improving the Nurse-Family Partnership in Community Practice," outlines a number of research projects and program enhancements that build upon the strong foundation of the program, including methods for nurse home visitors to better classify the risks and strengths of a family entering the program, which are designed to improve the program's efficiency and effectiveness.  Another community site-based trial delivered consistent, promising results in increasing retention rates and the number of home visits for family participants.

Other program enhancements developed through rigorous new research include a new intervention for NFP nurses to use to address intimate partner violence, with a 15-site randomized, controlled trial underway with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; development of mental health tools consistent with the NFP program; and creation of a new tool to help NFP nurses better assess a parent's skill level in caring for their child.

"The Nurse-Family Partnership program has been demonstrated to work effectively because it is both rigorously researched and flexible in its approach," said Thomas R. Jenkins Jr., NFP president and CEO. "We never stop learning or seeking to improve the program, based on the latest information we have from maternal and child health standards as well as our own community of practice. A good example of the latter is the work we are doing in partnership with Alaska Native and American Indian tribes."

The NFP work with indigenous health services, also highlighted in PEDIATRICS, addresses how the Nurse-Family Partnership is adapting to those unique cultures and is serving multiparous women, or women who have had previous live births, a significant change from the NFP model of serving fist-time moms.

The authors concluded that, "In order for the NFP to achieve its full potential for affecting maternal and child health, it must continue to evolve through systematic quality improvement, and research on implementation and the model itself ... [this] holds considerable promise for improving the lives of vulnerable children and families."

About Nurse-Family Partnership
The Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office ( is committed to producing enduring improvements in the health and well being of low-income, first-time parents and their children by helping communities implement and sustain an evidence-based public health program of home visiting by registered nurses. Nurse-Family Partnership is the most rigorously tested maternal and early childhood health program of its kind. Randomized, controlled trials conducted over 35 years demonstrate multi-generational outcomes that benefit society economically and reduce long-term social service expenditures. Nurse-Family Partnership is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

SOURCE Nurse-Family Partnership