Project Summary

There is a growing number of research studies conducted with home visiting (HV) programs, which serve pregnant women and women with young children. These studies often seek ongoing collaboration from HV staff. Many HV programs employ lay health workers who have limited professional training on research, thereby impacting their ability to collaborate in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) that meets the needs of their communities.

This project brings together a multisector group of stakeholders that will develop a three-hour, highly interactive online training that can be accessed by lay home visitors nationally across HV program models to develop their knowledge of PCOR, research methods, and research design. In developing this online training, the project team’s long-term goal is to increase the number of lay home visitors, across the United States, who provide consequential feedback on PCOR, research design, and research methods to ensure that HV research generates information that is useful to community stakeholders.

This project has three specific aims. First, the team will create an online training for lay home visitors on research design/methods and PCOR.  Second, the team will pilot test the online training with one HV program to obtain feedback on content, user-friendliness, and aesthetic appeal of the training material. Third, the team will implement the training with eight HV programs, while conducting an evaluation that obtains data from 40 HV staff who complete the training. The following activities will be conducted during this project: identify knowledge gaps and review existing trainings for lay health workers; develop initial iteration of online training; conduct a pilot study to test the training; further adapt the online training based on feedback from the pilot study; deliver adapted online training with 40 home visitors across the United States; evaluate the online training’s impact and disseminate the online training nationally. Via an online platform and working with the Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative, the training has the potential to reach thousands of lay home visitors nationally.

The project team has created a 10-person advisory board (AB) that will meet twice a year consisting of two HV clients (i.e., patients), four HV staff, two HV managers, two HV researchers, and two HV model developers. The team has also created a three-person executive committee (EC) who will attend all AB meetings and an additional four meetings/year. The EC consists of a home visitor, an HV manager, and an HV researcher, who will work with the Northwestern research team to provide oversight and scientific direction for this project and will share responsibility for overseeing the successful and timely achievement of project milestones. The AB will assist in the development of the online training, reviewing data collected from the pilot study and recommending revisions to the training, developing measures/instruments that will be used to assess the implementation of the online training and reviewing data on the impact of the training on home visitors’ knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy. 

This project emanates from Northwestern’s Center for Community Health. The team will work with an animation company and video/media company to develop training content. Through the AB, the team has connections to the Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative and national HV program models (Healthy Families America and Parents as Teachers). 

Project Information

Darius Tandon, PhD
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Key Dates

24 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: November 10, 2022