To evaluate the effectiveness of a home visiting program on health-related measures in a population of older people with poor health status.DESIGN
Randomized, clinical trial.SETTING
Community-dwelling citizens in the Netherlands.PARTICIPANTS
Three hundred thirty people aged 70 to 84 randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=160) or a control group (n=170).INTERVENTION
Eight home visits, lasting 1 hour or more, with telephone follow-up, over an 18-month period, conducted by experienced home nurses under supervision of a public health nurse; key elements of the (systematic) visits were assessment of health problems and risks, advice, and referral to professional and community services.MEASUREMENTS
Self-rated health, functional status, quality of life, and changes in self-reported problems.RESULTS
No differences were found between the intervention and control group in these and other outcome measures at the end of the intervention period (18 months).CONCLUSION
The home visiting program did not appear to have any effect on the health status of older people with poor health and are probably not beneficial for such persons.