Bio-psychosocial Outreach . Expanding a Home Visiting Model. Study Question.
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Does expanding a federal Healthy Start home visiting case management model, to include a nurse, nutritionist, and clinical mental health counselor, impact selected health outcomes in high risk African American women before and after pregnancy?
The Gadsden federal Healthy Start Project provides outreach, education, and case management services in a small rural community in north Florida with significant disparities in infant death rates for African Americans.
The leading cause of Black infant death in this community is prematurity due to poor maternal health, according to the Perinatal Periods of Risk “adapted” model (used for small communities) conducted in 2009.
Project needs assessments revealed significantly high rates of stress and depression as well as high rates of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic diseases in its preconception participants.
To address these risk factors, the home visiting case management staff, including 4 professional social workers, was expanded to include a professional nurse, nutrition educator, and clinical mental health counselor.