JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
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Importance: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health problem with significant adverse consequences for women and children. Past evaluations of a nurse home visitation program for pregnant women and first-time mothers experiencing social and economic disadvantage have not consistently shown reductions in IPV. Objective: To determine the effect on maternal quality of life of a nurse home visitation program augmented by an IPV intervention, compared with the nurse home visitation program alone. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cluster-based, single-blind, randomized clinical trial at 15 sites in 8 US states (May 2011-May 2015) enrolling 492 socially disadvantaged pregnant women (≥16 years) participating in a 2.5-year nurse home visitation program. Interventions: In augmented program sites (n = 229 participants across 7 sites), nurses received intensive IPV education and delivered an IPV intervention that included a clinical pathway to guide assessment and tailor care focused on safety planning, violence awareness, self-efficacy, and referral to social supports. The standard program (n = 263 participants across 8 sites) included limited questions about violence exposure and information for abused women but no standardized IPV training for nurses. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF; range, 0-400; higher score indicates better quality of life) obtained through interviews at baseline and every 6 months until 24 months after delivery. From 17 prespecified secondary outcomes, 7 secondary end points are reported, including scores on the Composite Abuse Scale, SPAN (Startle, Physiological Arousal, Anger, and Numbness), Prime-MD Patient Health Questionnaire, TWEAK (Tolerance/Worry About Drinking/Eye-Opener/Amnesia/C[K]ut Down on Drinking), Drug Abuse Severity Test, and the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (physical and mental health), version 2. Results: Among 492 participants enrolled (mean age, 20.4 years), 421 (86%) completed the trial. Quality of life improved from baseline to 24 months in both groups (change in WHOQOL-BREF scores from 299.5 [SD, 54.4] to 308.2 [SD, 52.6] in the augmented program group vs from 293.6 [SD, 56.4] to 316.4 [SD, 57.5] in the standard program group). Based on multilevel growth curve analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between groups (modeled score difference, -4.9 [95% CI, -16.5 to 6.7]). There were no statistically significant differences between study groups in any of the secondary participant end points. There were no adverse events recorded in either group. Conclusions and Relevance: Among pregnant women experiencing social and economic disadvantage and preparing to parent for the first time, augmentation of a nurse home visitation program with a comprehensive IPV intervention, compared with the home visitation program alone, did not significantly improve quality of life at 24 months after delivery. These findings do not support the use of this intervention. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01372098.