OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of a home visiting program on health-related measures in a population of older people with poor health status.
DESIGN: Randomized, clinical trial.
SETTING: Community-dwelling citizens in the Netherlands.
PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred thirty people aged 70 to 84 randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=160) or a control group (n=170).
INTERVENTION: Eight home visits, lasting 1 hour or more, with telephone follow-up, over an 18-month period, conducted by experienced home nurses under supervision of a public health nurse; key elements of the (systematic) visits were assessment of health problems and risks, advice, and referral to professional and community services.
MEASUREMENTS: Self-rated health, functional status, quality of life, and changes in self-reported problems.
RESULTS: No differences were found between the intervention and control group in these and other outcome measures at the end of the intervention period (18 months).
CONCLUSION: The home visiting program did not appear to have any effect on the health status of older people with poor health and are probably not beneficial for such persons.