This project evaluated a randomized clinical trial investigating the impact of a post-hospitalization support program for infants weighing less than 2,000 grams at birth. The study enrolled 135 low birth-weight infants and randomly assigned them to the intervention/case group or control group, with a further stratification into low birth-weight and very low birth-weight (less than 1,500 grams). Program personnel followed intervention-group infants for four months after they left hospital, providing anticipatory guidance and teaching within the home environment; control group infants received the standard public health nurse follow-up. Investigators found that improved infant and family outcomes can be realized when continuing support is provided. In particular, the intervention group received breast milk more frequently and for longer periods of time. Also, they received vitamin supplementation more appropriately and visited their physicians more regularly, with fewer unscheduled visits. No weight differences existed between the two groups at six months after discharge.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.