Online Program

"Strong Families Healthy Homes" - A Prenatal and Infancy Home Visit Intervention to Reduce Stress of African American Pregnant Women: Results from a Pilot Study

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Alice Yan, M.D., PhD, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Martina Graves, MSW, Mental Health America of WI, Milwaukee, WI
Emmanuel Ngui, DrPH, MSc, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health,, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Karissa Vogel, MSW, CAPSW, Mental Health America of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

African American infant mortality in Milwaukee is nearly three times higher than the white rate. Evidence suggests that maternal stress may negatively affect birth outcomes. This one-year pilot study examined the evidence-based “Strong Families Healthy Homes” (SFHH) as a prenatal and infancy home visit program to address mental health and stress among pregnant African American women with mental illness or substance abuse disorders.


Academic-Community Partnership and Community-Based Participatory Research approaches were implemented in this one-group pre-post intervention study with a sample of 12 African American females (less than 29 weeks of pregnancy) in Milwaukee during 2013. Primary outcomes include measures of depressive symptoms, perceived stress and psychosocial resources (self-esteem, mastery and social support) and parenting stress. Utilization of mental health services was also assessed. Paired t test was applied. All analyses were performed using SPSS.


Majority of the participants were single (73%), with some high school degree (83.3%) and unemployed (67%). At post-intervention, participants demonstrated increased but not statistically significant scores in perceived child support (pre-M=5.6; post-M=9), instrument support (pre-M=4.4; post-M=4.8), family social support (pre-M=12.6; post-M=18.8), significant others social support (pre-M=18.8; post- M=21.8) and mastery score (locus of control) (pre-M=21 post- M=22.8). Participants also increased their utilization of mental health providers (from 33% at pre-test to 71.4% at post-test). Ninety percent Infants born were full-term with normal weights.


Pilot findings indicate the potential benefits of a comprehensive prenatal and infancy in-home visit preventive model to reduce psychological distress and increase well-being among pregnant African American women.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define the life course approach in maternal health issues. Identify positive and negative life course exposures that are associated with birth outcomes. Describe the association of stress and mental health with prenatal health and pregnancy outcomes.

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the academic partner of this study. I wrote the abstract and conducted all the analyses. I also have PhD in public health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.