Effects of a Home Visiting Program for Older People with Poor Health Status: A Randomized, Clinical Trial in the Netherlands

(See editorial comments by Drs. Andreas Stuck and Robert Kane, pp 561–563)

Authors

  • Ans Bouman MSc,

    1. From the Departments of *Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsHealth Care Studies, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsMethodology and Statistics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and §General Practice, Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
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  • Erik Van Rossum PhD,

    1. From the Departments of *Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsHealth Care Studies, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsMethodology and Statistics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and §General Practice, Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
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  • Ton Ambergen PhD,

    1. From the Departments of *Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsHealth Care Studies, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsMethodology and Statistics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and §General Practice, Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
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  • Gertrudis Kempen PhD,

    1. From the Departments of *Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsHealth Care Studies, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsMethodology and Statistics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and §General Practice, Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
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  • Paul Knipschild PhD, MD

    1. From the Departments of *Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsHealth Care Studies, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the NetherlandsMethodology and Statistics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and §General Practice, Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
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Address correspondence to Ans Bouman, MSc, Department of Epidemiology, PO Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, the Netherlands. E-mail: ans.nicolaides@epid.unimaas.nl

Abstract

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.

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