New Nursing Project to Study Ways to Improve Family Health

Healthcare Training Resource
October 16, 2013 — 856 views  
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Simon Fraser University is going to start a new nursing project where nurses will be matched with disadvantaged pregnant women with the aim of increasing their families' health, economic stability, and safety.

The US already has such a program - the Nurse-Family Partnership. It has been working well for the last 30 years and has shown tremendous success in lowering rates of foster care, child maltreatment and even school test grades. This is the first time that a project on similar lines is being implemented in Canada. Earlier, the Public Health Service of the city of Hamilton and McMaster University had conducted a pilot project to determine the acceptability and feasibility of the project.

The Ministry of Health of the Government of British Columbia and five health boards in the region have already announced the project that is going to be called ‘The British Columbia Healthy Connections Project’.

Who is Running the Program?

The project is going to be funded by the BC's Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Child and Family Development and the other five health boards. The Mowafaghian Foundation is also going to provide additional funding. The project is calling for 1,000 volunteers. A computer will chose 500 of these volunteers randomly for support under the program. The remaining 500, called the control group will be given access to existing services. The selected mothers will be supported during their pregnancies and the first two years of their baby's life.

Dr. Charlotte Waddell who is one of the co-principle investigators said that this new program aims to reach women much earlier in their pregnancies than the existing programs.

Project Hopes to Replicate US Success

The original program in the US that was conducted by Dr. David Olds showed that the children who received assistance under the program had reduced behavior problems. Years later, the children also showed a higher aversion to youth crimes. Dr. Charlotte said that she wants to see if they can get the same results in Canada. She also said that while she is confident that the project will see the condition of women and children under the study improve, it will not be known for several years at least whether the project will have the impact it has had in the US.

The project has set strict guidelines for women who can sign up for the project. For instance, they must be 24 years or younger, it should be their first pregnancy, they should not have crossed the 27th week of their pregnancy and they should be struggling financially.

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