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Revista de Salud Pública

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KOTLIARENCO, María A; GOMEZ, Esteban; MUNOZ, María M  and  ARACENA, Marcela. The characteristics, effectiveness and challenges of home visiting in early intervention programmes. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.2, pp.184-196. ISSN 0124-0064.

The authors reviewed papers published between 1999 and 2009 in journals indexed in PsycInfo, PubMED, EBSCO and ProQuest concerning the characteristics, effectiveness and challenges of home visit programmes orientated towards early childhood intervention, clarifying the research's scope and limitations and its applications. Home visiting has been shown to be effective for a variety of relevant areas, especially for developing parent skills and child-caregiver relationships. The most effective programmes have started at pregnancy, lasted more than a year, had specially trained staff and have focused on building a trustworthy relationship and on modelling the infant-caregiver interaction. The importance of considering target population characteristics, the visiting model used and the visitor agent was identified in designing these programmes. In spite of the evidence accumulated in Anglo-Saxon studies, the costs associated with these programmes can be very high, thereby implying barriers which can make their dissemination difficult in Latin-American countries. The authors discuss the need for developing and evaluating other variants (i.e. including community agents), considering their cost/effectiveness ratio for treating early childhood problems, needs and characteristics in Latin-America.

Keywords : Home visit; early childhood; early intervention.

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