Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Health Visiting Works : A summary of health visiting outcomes


For a long time health visitors have faced the claim that they could not prove their effectiveness. While there was a mass of anecdotal evidence in favour of the unique service that they provide, critics said that there was little empirical research to prove that health visiting worked.

This view is now completely outdated. Health visitors know that the testimony of individuals clients, while precious to them as practitioners, is not enough in today’s harsh climate. They must be able to demonstrate the value of their work that they do and measure the benefits that they bring to people’s health and to people’s lives.

Now almost every week sees the publication of new research showing the positive outcomes of the work of health visitors-the contribution that they make to promoting health, preventing illness and supporting families.

This leaflet gives just a few brief examples of some of the steadily accumulating evidence to prove that health visiting works. Further data, including full references, are available for every study described here and for dozens of others. If you think that the service is an optional extra, a luxury that we just cannot afford in these times of hard choices, read this and think again.

CPHVA, 1998