The effects of adequacy and content of prenatal care on birth outcomes in a high-risk Missouri population
The purpose of this observational study was investigation of the relationship between quantitative adequacy of prenatal care, specific prenatal care content and pregnancy outcome in a high risk Missouri population. A sample of 1484 women from three Missouri regions known to have high rates of low birth weight, infant mortality, and inadequate prenatal care rates participated in structured post-partum interviews. Approximately one-half of the sample had received adequate prenatal care and the other half inadequate prenatal care as determined by an index utilized by the Missouri Department of Health. Prenatal care content was assessed by reports of prenatal education in six different areas: Diet, smoking, alcohol, drug, preterm labor counseling, and advice on when to call the health provider if preterm labor was suspected by the woman. Low birth weight, in both term and preterm infants, were the two birth outcomes examined. A variety of maternal socio-demographic variables were also considered. The results of this study suggest that specific educational content, delivered during prenatal care, may have lessen the risk of giving birth to a preterm-low birth weight infant. Prenatal education for recognition of preterm labor, and advice on when to call the health provider if preterm labor was suspected were found to be associated with a decreased risk of preterm delivery. Specific educational content was not, however, associated with risk of term-low weight birth nor was quantitative adequacy of care associated with the risk of either term- or preterm-low birth weight. These findings reinforce a body of literature which stresses the importance of appropriate prenatal care in preventing preterm low birth weight. Additionally, the findings suggest interventions that may be specifically effective for prematurity prevention.
Libbus, Martha Kay, "The effects of adequacy and content of prenatal care on birth outcomes in a high-risk Missouri population" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9109971.