Examining the Causal Impact of Prenatal Home Visiting on Birth Outcomes: A Propensity Score Analysis




Elizabeth R. Anthony, Youngmin Cho, Robert L. Fischer, and Lisa Matthews

Brief Type

Journal Publication



Objectives: In Ohio, African American babies die at 2.5–3 times the rate of White babies. Preterm birth and low birth weight are the leading causes of infant mortality. Home visiting is an evidence-based strategy for serving low-income pregnant women; however, there are relatively few rigorous studies examining its effect on birth outcomes. Methods: This study uses a propensity score technique to estimate the causal effect of participation in home visiting on prematurity and low birth weight among a low-income, predominantly African American sample (N = 26,814). Results: We found that participation in home visiting significantly reduced the odds of experiencing both adverse birth events, with a larger program effect for the low birth weight outcome. Conclusions for Practice: Results suggest that selective prevention strategies must be accompanied by universal attempts to improve the health and life circumstances of low income and minority women. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews
  • State administrative record reviews



For More Information

Anthony, E. R., Cho, Y., Fischer, R. L., & Matthews, L. (2021). Examining the causal impact of prenatal home visiting on birth outcomes: A propensity score analysis. Maternal and Child Health Journal25(6), 947-955. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-020-03054-7
Author Contact Information
Youngmin Cho


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes