Technology to Augment Early Home Visitation for Child Maltreatment Prevention: A Pragmatic Randomized Trial




Steven J. Ondersma, Joanne Martin, Beverly Fortson, Daniel J. Whitaker, Shannon Self-Brown, Jessica Beatty, Amy Loree, David Bard, and Mark Chaffin

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)
  • Other Models


Early home visitation (EHV) for child maltreatment prevention is widely adopted but has received inconsistent empirical support. Supplementation with interactive software may facilitate attention to major risk factors and use of evidence-based approaches. We developed eight 20-min computer-delivered modules for use by mothers during the course of EHV. These modules were tested in a randomized trial in which 413 mothers were assigned to software-supplemented e-Parenting Program ( ePP), services as usual (SAU), or community referral conditions, with evaluation at 6 and 12 months. Outcomes included satisfaction, working alliance, EHV retention, child maltreatment, and child maltreatment risk factors. The software was well-received overall. At the 6-month follow-up, working alliance ratings were higher in the ePP condition relative to the SAU condition (Cohen's d = .36, p < .01), with no differences at 12 months. There were no between-group differences in maltreatment or major risk factors at either time point. Despite good acceptability and feasibility, these findings provide limited support for use of this software within EHV. These findings contribute to the mixed results seen across different models of EHV for child maltreatment prevention. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews
  • Site visits
  • Standardized assessment tools



For More Information

Ondersma, S. J., Martin, J., Fortson, B., Whitaker, D. J., Self-Brown, S., Beatty, J., Loree, A., ... Chaffin, M. (2017). Technology to augment early home visitation for child maltreatment prevention: A pragmatic randomized trial. Child Maltreatment, 22, 4, 334-343.
doi: 10.1177/1077559517729890
Author contact information:
Steven J. Ondersma


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage