Birth Outcomes of Second Children After Community-Based Home Visiting: A Research Protocol




Margaret L. Holland, Eileen M. Condon, C. Wesley Younts, and Lois S. Sadler

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


Birth-related outcomes, such as birth weight, have lifelong impacts on health. Home visiting (HV) is an established approach to improve the health of children and families, parenting practices, and connections to social and health services. Many HV programs target first-time mothers, in part because HV activities related to a first-birth may improve birth outcomes for subsequent children, but few researchers have examined these effects. We will link data from a statewide HV program (Nurturing Families Network [NFN]) to birth certificate data to create comparison groups and measure outcomes in this observational study. Specifically, we will compare birth outcomes for NFN second-children (n = 3000) to those for: (a) first-child older siblings whose birth/gestation led to NFN enrollment (n = 3000); (b) second children of families who were screened as eligible for NFN, but not offered the program due to home visitor availability and other logistical reasons (n = 650); and (c) non-NFN second children in a propensity-score-matched group created using the likelihood of enrollment in NFN based on maternal health, demographics, and neighborhood characteristics (n = 6000). The outcomes we will examine are birth spacing, prenatal care received, cesarean section rate, gestational age, and birth weight in second-children.We will also examine the associations between program attendance (i.e., missed visits, dropout) and birth outcomes, that will generate evidence that may be used in programmatic decisions regarding continued funding and/or modification of NFN, prioritization of specific retention efforts, and targeting of first-time mothers. Use of this evidence should improve outcomes for future NFN families and may inform similar programs. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews



For More Information

Holland, M. L., Condon, E. M., Younts, C. W., & Sadler, L. S. (2019). Birth outcomes of second children after community-based home visiting: A research protocol. Research in Nursing & Health, 42, 96–106. doi: 10.1002/nur.21931
Author Contact Information:
Margaret L. Holland


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage