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Infant Ment Health J ; 43(1): 140-142, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1615980


Parents of infants and young children who experience harsh circumstances are among those most vulnerable to the added stressors associated with COVID-19. Home visiting models have been shown to enhance outcomes for parents and infants when delivered in person, but in many parts of the world, the pandemic rendered in-person home visits difficult or impossible. In this special section, we examine adaptations made by home visiting programs to allow continued service delivery through telehealth, and strategies for assessing whether interventions maintain reach and fidelity when implemented remotely. In the first paper, Bullinger et al. (program implementers of SafeCare) provide evidence of the increased risk of maltreatment during COVID-19 for many families, and thus the need for home visiting services. Rybinska et al., developers and implementers of Family Connects, present evidence regarding their success in reaching families through telehealth. Roben and colleagues, in the third paper, report that clinicians implementing Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up through telehealth maintained fidelity at similar rates seen through in-person implementation. Finally, Tabachnick et al. describe procedures for collecting physiological data from infants and parents while conducting assessments remotely.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Child , Child, Preschool , House Calls , Humans , Infant , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2
Matern Child Health J ; 26(1): 70-78, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616200


PURPOSE: Early reports highlighted challenges in delivering home visiting programs virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic but the extent of the changes in program implementation and their implications remains unknown. We examine program activity and families' perceptions of virtual home visiting during the first nine months of the pandemic using implementation data for Family Connects (FC), an evidence-based and MIECHV-eligible, postpartum nurse home visiting program. DESCRIPTION: Aggregate program implementation data for five FC sites for January-November of 2019 and 2020 are compared. The COVID-19 Modification Survey is used to analyze families' reactions to virtual program delivery. ASSESSMENT: Post-pandemic onset, FC's program completion rates amounted to 86% of the pre-pandemic activity level. Activity in key components of the intervention-home-visitor education and referrals to community agencies-was maintained at 98% and 87% of the pre-pandemic level respectively. However, education and referrals rates declined among families of color and low-income families. Finally, families reported a positive response to the program, with declines in feelings of isolation and increases in positive attitudes toward in-person medical care-seeking due to FC visits. CONCLUSIONS: During the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, families' interest in home visiting remained strong, performance metrics were maintained at high levels, and families responded positively to the virtual delivery of home visiting. Home visiting programs should continue implementation with virtual modifications during the remainder of the pandemic but attention is needed to address growing disparities in access to home visiting benefits among marginalized communities.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Female , House Calls , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Postnatal Care , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
Infant Ment Health J ; 43(1): 159-172, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611237


In this paper, we analyze program activity for Family Connects (FC), an evidence-based postpartum home-visiting intervention, during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic began, FC transitioned to a virtual protocol which maintains key psychosocial components of the in-person protocol and adjusts health assessments to address the lack of in-person contact. Program performance is contrasted for periods before the pandemic onset (April 2019-March 2020) and after the onset (April 2020-March 2021), involving 10,280 scheduled visits and 6696 visited families (46% non-Hispanic white; 20% non-Hispanic Black; 23% Hispanic; and 10% other race). Post-pandemic onset, FC program participation rates were at 89.8% of pre-pandemic levels. Home visitors observed post-onset increases in families' concerns about home safety but declines in families' needs related to infant care. Community connections were facilitated for 42.9% of visited families post-pandemic onset compared to 51.1% pre-pandemic onset. We conclude that post-pandemic onset virtual delivery rates of FC declined but are high enough to merit continued implementation during a period when some families will decline in-person visits. When in-person visits are deemed safe per public health guidelines, the findings suggest a hybrid approach that could maximize program outreach by prioritizing in-person contact and offering virtual delivery as a second choice.

En este ensayo, analizamos la actividad de programación de Conexión de Familia (FC), una intervención de visitas a casa posteriores al parto con base en la evidencia, durante la pandemia COVID-19. Cuando comenzó la pandemia, FC pasó a un protocolo virtual el cual mantiene componentes sicosociales claves del protocolo presencial y ajusta las evaluaciones de salud para considerar la falta de contacto personal. La actuación del programa se contrasta por períodos antes del comienzo de la pandemia (abril 2019 - marzo 2020) y después del comienzo (abril 2020 - marzo 2021), lo cual involucra 10,280 visitas y 6,696 familias visitadas (46% blancas no hispanas, 20% negras no hispanas, 23% hispanas, 10% de otras razas). Al comienzo de la postpandemia, el nivel de participación en el programa FC estaba al 89.8% del nivel de prepandemia. Los visitantes a casa observaron aumentos posteriores al comienzo en preocupaciones de las familias sobre la seguridad del hogar, pero bajas en necesidades familiares relacionadas con el cuidado de los infantes. Las conexiones comunitarias se facilitaron para el 42.9% de las familias visitadas después del comienzo de la pandemia, comparadas con el 51.1% antes del comienzo de la pandemia. En resumen, la actividad de programación de FC declinó después del comienzo de la pandemia, pero se mantuvo suficientemente alta como para ameritar la continuación de la implementación durante un período cuando algunas familias rechazaron las visitas en persona. Cuando las visitas en persona se estiman seguras según las directrices de salud pública, los resultados indican que un acercamiento híbrido pudiera conducir al máximo el alcance del programa por medio de darle prioridad al contacto en persona y ofrecer el servicio virtual como segunda opción.

Dans cet article nous analysons l'activité de programme pour une Family Connects (FC), une intervention postpartum à domicile fondée sur des données probantes, durant la pandémie du COVID-19. Lorsque la pandémie a commencé la FC a transitionné à protocole virtuel qui maintient les composantes psychosociales clé du protocole en personne et ajusté les évaluations de santé afin de répondre au manque de contact en personne. La performance du programme est comparée pour des périodes avant le début de la pandémie (avril 2019-mars 2020) et après le début de la pandémie (avril 2020-mars 2021), comprenant 10280 visites programmées et 6696 familles visitées (46% de blancs n'étant pas hispaniques, 20% de noirs n'étant pas hispaniques, 23% d'hispaniques et 10% d'autres races). Les taux de participation au programme FC, après le début de la pandémie, étaient à 89,8% des niveaux avant pandémie. Les visiteurs à domicile ont observé des augmentations des inquiétudes des familles à propos de la sécurité à la maison après le début de la pandémie mais des déclins dans les besoins familiaux liés au soin du nourrisson. Les liens avec la communauté ont été facilités pour 42,9% des familles visitées après le début de la pandémie, comparé à 51,1% avant le début de la pandémie. Pour conclure, l'activité de programme du FC a décliné après le début de la pandémie mais est restée suffisamment élevée pour mériter une exécution continue durant une période où certaines familles ont décliné les visites à domicile. Quand les visites à domicile ont été estimées sûres suivant les directives de santé publique les résultats suggèrent qu'une approche hybride pourrait maximiser la sensibilisation au programme en privilégiant le contact en personne et en offrant une prestation virtuelle comme second choix.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Female , House Calls , Humans , Infant , Postpartum Period , SARS-CoV-2
Infant Ment Health J ; 43(1): 143-158, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589081


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many child maltreatment risk factors and may have affected maltreatment among vulnerable families. We surveyed 258 certified providers of an evidence-based home visiting program, SafeCare, about their perception of the impact of the pandemic on the families they serve. We examined if the providers perceived an overall change in child maltreatment and family violence risk among the families with young children they served and factors that may have contributed to changes. Regressions estimated the relationship between providers' assessment of families' ability to social distance, emotional struggles, and access to public resources/services with providers' perception of child maltreatment and family violence risk in the home. Findings indicate that 87% of providers believed maltreatment risk had increased during the pandemic. Providers serving families who were unable to social distance due to employment were more likely to report increased supervisory neglect and material neglect among the families they serve. Providers reporting that families were struggling with elevated frustration levels also reported more family conflict and material neglect among the families they serve. Results from this research can inform strategic decision-making for policies and programs that address the challenges low-income families with young children face in emergency situations.

La pandemia del COVID-19 ha afectado muchos factores de riesgo de maltrato del niño y pudiera haber afectado el maltrato en familias vulnerables. Les preguntamos en una encuesta a 258 proveedores certificados de un programa de visitas a casa con base en la evidencia, SafeCare®, acerca de sus percepciones del impacto de la pandemia en las familias a quienes les ofrecían el servicio. Examinamos si los proveedores percibían un cambio general en el maltrato del niño y el riesgo de violencia familiar en familias con niños pequeños a las que les servían y los factores que pudieran haber contribuido a los cambios. Las regresiones calcularon la relación entre la evaluación de los proveedores acerca de la habilidad de la familia para mantener la distancia social física, los problemas emocionales, así como el acceso a recursos y servicios públicos, con la percepción de los proveedores acerca del maltrato infantil y el riesgo de violencia familiar en la casa. Los resultados indican que el 87 por ciento de los proveedores creía que el riesgo de maltrato había aumentado durante la pandemia. Aquellos proveedores que les servían a familias que no podían mantener la distancia social física debido al empleo, estuvieron más propensas a reportar el aumento en la negligencia de supervisión y la negación de material en las familias a quienes les servían. Los proveedores que reportaron que las familias estaban luchando con elevados niveles de frustración también reportaron más conflicto familiar y negación de material en las familias a las que les servían. Los resultados de esta investigación pueden apoyar la toma de decisiones estratégica para políticas y programas que se enfoquen en los retos que enfrentan las familias de bajos recursos con niños pequeños en situaciones de emergencia.

La pandémie du COVID-19 a affecté bien des facteurs de risque de la maltraitance de l'enfant et peut avoir affecté la maltraitance chez les familles vulnérables. Nous avons questionné 258 prestataires certifiés d'un programme de visite à domicile fondé sur des données probantes, SafeCare®, sur leur perception de l'impact de la pandémie sur les familles qu'ils servent. Nous avons examiné si les prestataires ont perçu un changement général de la maltraitance de l'enfant et dans le risque de violence familiale au sein des familles avec les jeunes enfants qu'ils servaient et les facteurs qui ont pu contribuer à ces changements. Des régressions ont estimé la relation entre l'évaluation qu'ont fait les prestataires de la capacité des familles à assurer la distanciation sociale, des difficutés émotionnelles et de l'accès aux resources/services publiques avec la perception des prestataires de la maltraitance de l'enfant et du risque de violence familiale à la maison. Les résultats indiquent que 87 pourcent des prestataires pensaient que le risque de maltraitance avait augmenté durant la pandémie. Les prestataires servant les familles qui ne pouvaient pas assurer la distanciation sociale à cause de leur emploi étaient plus à même de faire état d'une négligence acrue de la supervision et de négligence matérielle chez les familles qu'ils servent. Les prestataires indiquant que les familles faisaient face à des difficultés avec des niveaux de frustration élevés ont aussi fait état de plus de conflit familial et de néglicence matérielle chez les familles qu'ils servent. Les résultats de ces recherches peuvent aider les prises de décision stratégiques pour les politiques et les programmes qui répondent aux défis des familles défavorisées avec de jeunes enfants dans des situations d'urgence.

COVID-19 , Child Abuse , Domestic Violence , Telemedicine , Child , Child, Preschool , House Calls , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 215, 2021 09 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496181


BACKGROUND: Lack of control over life situations is an important social determinant that may negatively affect parental and child health. This study took place in an area of Stockholm, Sweden with high indications of socioeconomic disadvantage, a large part of the population with foreign background, as well as higher levels of poor health than the county average. It investigated staff perceptions of pathways from situations of low control, potentially leading to health inequities, affecting families enrolled in an early childhood home visiting programme during the Covid-19 pandemic. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 23 child health care nurses and parental advisors working in a home visiting programme. The data was analysed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis. RESULTS: The analysis resulted in five pathways on two explanatory levels, affecting parents' health and parenting capacity and children's health and well-being, potentially damaging health and leading to health inequities. The first four pathways related to control at the personal explanatory level: Families facing instability and insecurity; Caring for children in crowded and poor housing conditions; Experiencing restricted access to resources; and Parenting with limited social support. The fifth pathway, Living in a segregated society, covered the collective experience of lack of control on community level. The Covid-19 pandemic was observed to negatively affect all pathways and thus potentially aggravate health inequities for this population. The pandemic has also limited the delivery of home visits to the families which creates further barriers in families' access to resources and increases isolation for parents with already limited social support. CONCLUSIONS: The diversity of pathways connected to health inequities presented in this study highlights the importance of considering this variety of influences when designing interventions for socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. The additional negative consequences of Covid-19 indicate the need for sustainable preventive early childhood interventions for families in such areas. The study also emphasizes the need for further research as well as policy action on possible long-term effects of changing behaviours during the Covid-19 period on child health and health equity. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was retrospectively registered (11 August 2016) in the ISRCTN registry ( ISRCTN11832097 ).

COVID-19 , Family , Health Status Disparities , Pandemics , Poverty Areas , COVID-19/epidemiology , House Calls , Humans , Observation , Qualitative Research , Sweden/epidemiology
Matern Child Health J ; 25(7): 1025-1030, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226231


PURPOSE: This paper describes the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent shift from in-person to virtual (video-based) home visiting, had on the Los Angeles County Welcome Baby Home Visiting Program. DESCRIPTION: The Welcome Baby (WB) Program is a voluntary, universal home visiting program for expectant women and women with infants in Los Angeles County implemented in 14 hospitals in Los Angeles County. Oversight of the program is managed by LA Best Babies Network (LABBN) and funded by First 5 LA. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Welcome Baby Home visitors to shift from in-person home visits to virtual visits, which had an impact on programmatic outcomes. ASSESSMENT: LABBN manages a database utilized by WB sites. In assessing data trends before and during the pandemic, shifting to virtual visits resulted in an increase in both missed visits and completed visits, and a decrease in overall visit length. Completion of required assessments and overall client program completion were not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: The Welcome Baby sites across Los Angeles County were able to successfully migrate in-person visits to a virtual platform, proving that virtual visits are possible and do provide some programmatic benefits. However, the long-term efficacy of virtual visits remains to be seen, and further research is warranted.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Child Health Services , House Calls , Maternal Health Services , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Program Evaluation , Surveys and Questionnaires , Videoconferencing
Matern Child Health J ; 24(10): 1224-1230, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-657547


PURPOSE: This evaluation describes efforts taken by MIECHV administrators and staff during the pandemic using data collected from 60 MIECHV staff surveys and nine statewide weekly focus groups. DESCRIPTION: The Florida Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Initiative funds perinatal home visiting for pregnant women and families with infants throughout the state. Florida MIECHV has shown resilience to disasters and times of crises in the past, while generating a culture of adaptation and continuous quality improvement among local implementing agencies. Florida MIECHV responded to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis within the first few days of the first reported case in Florida by providing guidance on virtual home visits and working remotely. ASSESSMENT: Findings highlight the role of administrative leadership and communication, staff willingness/morale, logistical considerations, and the needs of enrolled families who face hardships during the pandemic such as job loss, limited supplies, food insecurity, technology limitations, and stress. Home visitors support enrolled families by connecting them with resources, providing public health education and delivering evidence-based home visiting curricula virtually. They also recognized the emotional burden surrounding COVID-19 impacts and uncertainties along with achieving work-life balance by caring for their own children. CONCLUSION: This evaluation helped in understanding the impact of the pandemic on this maternal and child health program and fundamentals of transition to virtual home visiting services. Virtual home visiting appears to be feasible and provides an essential connection to supports for families who may not otherwise have the means or knowledge to access them.

House Calls/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Postnatal Care/methods , Telemedicine , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Florida , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Program Development , Program Evaluation , SARS-CoV-2