Expert-generated standard practice elements for evidence-based home visiting programs using a Delphi process

Emily E. Haroz, Allison Ingalls, Karla Decker Sorby, Mary Dozier, Miranda P. Kaye, Michelle Sarche, Lauren H. Supplee, Daniel J. Whitaker, Fiona Grubin, Deborah Daro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background States, territories, non-profits, and tribes are eligible to obtain federal funding to implement federally endorsed evidence-based home visiting programs. This represents a massive success in translational science, with $400 million a year allocated to these implementation efforts. This legislation also requires that 3% of this annual funding be allocated to tribal entities implementing home visiting in their communities. However, implementing stakeholders face challenges with selecting which program is best for their desired outcomes and context. Moreover, recent reviews have indicated that when implemented in practice and delivered at scale, many evidence-based home visiting programs fail to replicate the retention rates and effects achieved during clinical trials. To inform program implementers and better identify the active ingredients in home visiting programs that drive significant impacts, we aimed to develop an expert derived consensus taxonomy on the elements used in home visiting practice that are essential to priority outcome domains. Methods We convened a panel of 16 experts representing researchers, model representatives, and program implementers using a Delphi approach. We first elicited standard practice elements (SPEs) using open-ended inquiry, then compared these elements to behavior change techniques (BCTs) given their general importance in the field of home visiting; and finally rated their importance to 10 outcome domains. Results Our process identified 48 SPEs derived from the panel, with 83 additional BCTs added based on the literature. Six SPEs, mostly related to home visitor characteristics and skills, were rated essential across all outcome domains. Fifty-three of the 83 BCTs were rated unnecessary across all outcome domains. Conclusions This work represents the first step in a consensus-grounded taxonomy of techniques and strategies necessary for home visiting programs and provides a framework for future hypothesis testing and replication studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0275981
JournalPloS one
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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