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Reaching an underserved population with a randomly assigned home safety intervention
  1. S G Hendrickson
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S G Hendrickson
 The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, 1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701, USA;


Objective: To access an underserved, mobile segment of a monolingual Spanish speaking population and to improve maternal self efficacy for home safety behaviors using a culturally appropriate intervention.

Design: A pre- and post-test experimental design tested differences in maternal childhood injury health beliefs (MCIHB) and controllable safety hazards (CHS). Participants were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Baseline data assessed demographic and study variables comparability. The intervention included counseling, assessment of maternal safety practices, and provision of safety items.

Setting: A non-urban area in Texas where low income, largely migrant Hispanics represent the majority of residents.

Participants: Eighty two mothers of 1–4 year old children.

Results: The 95% retention rate of an itinerant, hard to reach population suggests that minority participants may be receptive to culturally appropriate home visits. The intervention group demonstrated improved self efficacy for home safety behaviors (F (2, 77)  = 7.50, p = 0.01). Mothers with stronger self efficacy and fewer perceived barriers had fewer accessible in-home hazards. Observed home hazard predictors were: (a) never being married; (b) poor home repair, (c) lower self efficacy for safety behaviors; and (d) control group status.

Conclusions: Safety items coupled with a home visit tailored to child age and maternal culture was an effective intervention in a hard to reach population. This study contributes to designing research for a monolingual population with limited local language proficiency and community residency. Injuries represent a major source of health disparities in these neglected populations.

  • CHS, controllable safety hazards
  • HBM, Health Belief Model
  • MCIHB, maternal childhood injury health beliefs
  • SCT, social cognitive theory
  • child
  • preschool
  • controlled trials
  • residential mobility
  • poverty

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  • A Motorola Small Grant funded the study. No actual or potential conflict of interest exists between the author and Motorola Corporation.