[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
In This Issue of JAMA Pediatrics
September 2014


JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(9):785. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1549


The Nurse-Family Partnership has been widely disseminated in the United States and has been found to be effective in improving a variety of maternal and child outcomes. In this 20-year follow-up, Olds and colleagues examine the effect of the intervention on the mortality of mothers and children who participated in the randomized clinical trial in Memphis, Tennessee. Women enrolled in the 2 nurse-visited groups were less likely to have died than women assigned to the control group, and by age 20 years, children whose mothers received home visits during pregnancy and through child age 2 years were less likely to have died from preventable causes compared with their counterparts in the control group. These findings suggest that this intervention may have longer-term effects on health and mortality as the mothers and their children grow older.

The relative effectiveness of different interventions for the treatment of severe obesity remains unclear, and reports of long-term effectiveness are scarce. Van der Baan-Slootweg and colleagues randomized 90 children aged 8 to 18 years with severe obesity to inpatient treatment during weekdays for 26 weeks or to an outpatient program of 12 visits over 6 months. While there were greater reductions in body mass index in the hospitalized group at the end of treatment, this difference was not sustained at 12 and 24 months after treatment. In their editorial, Inge and colleagues discuss the potential reasons for the long-term failure of the intervention and the direction for future research.


Screening adolescents for substance use and intervening immediately can reduce the burden of addiction and substance-related morbidity. Levy and colleagues examine the accuracy of an electronic screen and brief assessment tool to identify nontobacco substance use among 12- to 17-year-old adolescents. A single screening question assessing past-year frequency use for 8 commonly misused categories of substances appeared to be a valid method for discriminating among clinically relevant risk categories of adolescent substance use. In their editorial, Subramaniam and Volkov discuss the need to develop the evidence base to guide the clinician when substance misuse is uncovered in an adolescent.


Clinical Review & Education

In this Special Communication, a group of health professionals from North America and Europe who regularly communicate with the parents of sick children use their own experiences as parents or grandparents of a sick child in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide practical recommendations that will assist health care professionals in helping parents who have a child in the NICU. They offer 10 essentials of etiquette-based neonatal care from the parents’ perspective. They are based on the belief that anyone can learn simple techniques to express their compassion in ways that help parents navigate the difficult experience of having a baby in the NICU.