Two studies were made of home visiting and psychosocial stimulation with deprived urban children in Jamaica. The aim was to determine the relative effectiveness of different frequencies of visiting on the children's developmental levels and the feasibility of integrating the model into government primary health care services. Health paraprofessionals supervised by a nurse from a local health center conducted the intervention. In the first study, 152 children aged 6 to 30 months were assigned to groups visited biweekly, monthly, or not at all by area of residence. The biweekly group showed small but significant increases in scores on the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (developmental quotient) and performance subscale compared with the monthly and control groups, whereas no benefit was shown in the Griffiths scores of the monthly group. In the second study, 58 children aged 16 to 30 months from the same neighborhoods were randomly assigned to weekly visited and control groups. The group visited weekly showed marked improvements in the performance and hearing and speech subscales as well as the developmental quotient scores. The results indicate that as the frequency of visiting increases from none through monthly and biweekly to weekly, the benefits increase as well.
- Received March 21, 1988.
- Accepted December 8, 1988.
- Copyright © 1989 by the American Academy of Pediatrics