Parenting Addressing Early Years Intervention with Home Visits in Toronto: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial (PARENT)

By: Dr. Catherine Birken, The Hospital for Sick Children


The study aims to determine if group parenting sessions and home visits result in better health outcomes for children. Participants will learn more about nutrition, physical activity, and sleep in young children, and how to promote healthy lifestyles.​

Objectives and Trial Procedure


If you agree to participate, you will be asked to attend three visits. These will consist of an initial, 6-month, and 12-month visit. We will try to schedule the visits during your child’s scheduled check-up. During these visits, participants will be asked to: 


  1. Complete questionnaires similar to TARGet Kids! 

  2. Provide a blood sample from your child (initial and 12-month visits only) 

  3. Wear an activity monitor to measure physical activity (initial and 12-month visits only)  


Alongside the three visits, families will be randomly assigned to either intervention (Group A) or control (Group B): 

  • Group A: Will receive parenting group sessions and home visits from a Public Health Nurse

  • Group B: Will receive the usual care from your family physician

Importance of the Trial

This study will demonstrate how using public health resources in Ontario alongside the existing primary healthcare will lead to healthier lifestyles.