From a healthy babies program to crime prevention, Nurse-Family Partnership is validated by research.
A cornerstone of Nurse-Family Partnership is the extensive research on the model conducted over the last three decades. Randomized controlled trials were conducted with three diverse populations beginning in Elmira, New York, in 1977; in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1990; and in Denver, Colorado, in 1994. All three trials targeted first-time, low-income mothers. Follow-up research continues today, studying the long-term outcomes for mothers and children in these three trials.
About the research
A randomized controlled trial is the most rigorous research method for measuring the effectiveness of an intervention. This type of trial is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for new drugs or medical devices to determine their effectiveness and safety before they are made available to the public. Because of their cost and complexity, these kinds of trials are not often used to evaluate complex health and human services. Nurse-Family Partnership began with randomized controlled trials to ensure the efficacy of the program, prior to expanding beyond the research contexts. After three randomized trials, there was more than sufficient evidence to show the beneficial effects of NFP, and motivate the broader expansion of the program.
Since the trials, Nurse-Family Partnership continues to collect and analyze important data from all home visits conducted by Nurse-Family Partnership local agencies. These data are stored in the Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office’s web-based data collection system, and are analyzed and returned to local Nurse-Family Partnership agencies to provide them with information on their progress toward meeting Nurse-Family Partnership’s implementation benchmarks in improving maternal and child health. Additionally, National Service Office uses these data for program evaluation and quality improvement efforts, and to assess trends in outcomes.