The effectiveness of domiciliary health visiting: a systematic review of international studies and a selective review of the British literature

Elkan R, Kendrick D, Hewitt M, Robinson JJA, Tolley K, Blair M, Dewey M, Williams D, Brummell K
Record ID 32000000881
Authors' objectives:

The objectives of this review are to: - conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of domiciliary health visiting (Part I) - conduct a selective review of the British health visiting literature (Part II) - provide recommendations for future research.

Authors' recomendations: Several reviews of the existing literature support making the content, duration and intensity of home visits appropriate and sensitive to the needs of clients. It is considered that professional judgement is valid for decisions about where to target home visiting resources. Expectations of home visiting by health visitors should be realistic. Home visiting by itself can be insufficient to bring about radical improvements in health and social outcomes. The literature suggests that non-professional home visitors can play a role, but that they require guidance, supervision and support from professionals. However, more complex difficulties may not be suitable for non-professional home visiting. The evidence suggests that home visiting interventions that are restricted to the pursuit of only a narrow range of outcomes are less effective than more broadly based interventions in which the multiple needs of individuals and families are addressed.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2000
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: 2000 Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.