Optimizing Reach, Engagement and Effectiveness of Interactive Video Conferencing (IVC) Visits
This project is designed to help strengthen the effectiveness of virtual home visiting in building family assets and reducing family risks during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. It will do so through a three-pronged approach to: 1) understand visitors’ perspectives on supports and challenges in transitioning to virtual visits; 2) assess of visit content and communication strategies directly in visits using interactive video conferencing (IVC) visits; and 3) explore participants’ perspectives on the quality and effectiveness of IVC visits. This project, supported by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, will be carried out by Erikson Institute, one of the collaborating partners of the Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative (HARC), a national research and development platform housed at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Each of the components is described below:
1) Survey. Building on the HARC-Beat survey of local program managers conducted in April 2020, we will conduct a separate survey of home visitors to elicit their perspectives on conducting virtual home visits. Aspects will include logistics, visit content, strategies to build responsive partnership, and challenges and opportunities provided by virtual versus in-home visits. We will also assess differences in IVC home visits and the other two most commonly used strategies to connect with families — phone calls and texts. We expect to survey approximately 400 home visitors in a purposive sample to represent diverse models and areas of the country.
2) Observation. We will analyze video-recordings of IVC visits to assess content and communication style. We will recruit the study sample from participants in the project’s first component. Although not without challenges, it is easier to record IVC visits than in-home visits given the built-in functionality of most IVC platforms, such as Zoom. These recordings also produce rough transcripts of visit dialogue, facilitating additional qualitative analyses of themes. We will assess content (for example, addressing parent immediate concerns, parent-child interaction, service referral), home visitor communication strategies (for example, use of questions, empathy, and reflection), the nature of visitors’ responses to parental concerns, and parent engagement in the visit. We will use methods and measures drawn from HARC’s partnership with 35 diverse local home visiting programs in communications research and, built on this, the development, testing and refinement of a communications toolkit for use in program operations.
3) Interview. We will independently review a subsample of the IVC visit video-recordings with both the visitors and parents in the visits to elicit their perspectives on how specific communication strategies, expressions of concerns and responsiveness to concerns could be strengthened, using short segments of specific parts of the visit as prompts for the questions. The video-recording will allow us to ask participants about specific parts of the visit.
The study team will elicit input on project methods from RRI evaluation and workforce development partners to promote the usefulness of project results both during COVID-19 transitions and beyond. HARC is also working with stakeholders nationally through its Precision Paradigm project to build the field’s capacity for cross-model learning about model commonalities and distinctions in expectations of visitors. To that end, we will incorporate elements of the Precision Paradigm in the project’s conceptual framework and operationalization of concepts.