Effectiveness of Home Visiting in Reducing Partner Violence for Families Experiencing Abuse: A Systematic Review




Gert-Jan Prosman, Sylvie H Lo Fo Wong, Johannes C van der Wouden, and Antoine LM Lagro-Janssen

Brief Type

Journal publication


  • Healthy Families America (HFA)
  • Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
  • Other Models


Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a major, global societal problem with enormous health consequences both for mother and child. Home visiting interventions in families at risk of abuse seem promising in decreasing IPV. In this systematic review, we aim to assess the effectiveness of home visiting in reducing IPV experienced by mothers.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review using the Pubmed, PsychINFO and Embase databases from inception until March 2014, with a specific search strategy for each database.
Results: Of the 1258 articles identified, 19 (six different home visiting studies) met our inclusion criteria and were examined in detail. Three different types of studies were identified: the primary focus of one study was on the abused mother and the secondary focus on the children (Australia); two studies (Hawaii, The Netherlands) with a primarily focus on reduction of child abuse and a secondary focus on IPV and finally three studies from the USA, which only aimed at reducing child abuse by providing support to the mother. The Australian study reported a significant lowering of the IPV score at 1-year follow-up (15.9 versus 21.8, adjusted difference −8.67, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −16.2 to −1.15). The Hawaii-study showed significantly lower rates of physical assault after 3 years follow-up (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.85; 95% CI: 0.71–1.00) and the Dutch study showed a significant decrease of mothers’ physical assaults 2 years after birth (odds ratio 0.46; 95% CI 0.24–0.89). The other three studies showed no significant reduction of IPV.
Conclusions: Home visiting interventions that support abused women explicit to stop IPV seem to be effective in reducing IPV. However, it is not known whether these results are effective in the long term. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Record and document reviews



For More Information

Prosman, G. J., Lo Fo Wong, S. H., van der Wouden, J. C., & Lagro-Janssen, A. L. (2015). Effectiveness of home visiting in reducing partner violence for families experiencing abuse: A systematic review. Family Practice, 32(3), 247-256. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmu091


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes