Study shows nurse home visits improve maternal/child interaction, decrease post partum depression severity

Nurse home visits improve maternal/child interaction and decrease the severity of postpartum depression according to a new study released in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, a publication of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.

The study found that both treatment and control groups had significant increases in the quality of mother/infant interaction and decreases in depression severity. The presence of the nurse, empathic listening, focused attention and assistance with referrals are some of the reasons identified as likely contributing to the improvements.

Researchers came to the conclusions after testing the efficacy of the relationship-focused behavioral coaching intervention Communicating and Relating Effectively. They report that results suggest that nurse-led home visits had a positive effect on outcomes for all participants.

The Coaliton is currently implementing an evidence-based nurse home visiting program, the Nurse Family Partnership, through the Healthy Start programs at the Duval County Health Department and UF Health at Jacksonville (formerly Shands Jacksonville). The Jacksonville NFP Project is one of five original sites funded as part of Florida’s Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program.