Prenatal care: a path (not taken) to improved perinatal outcome.

Six hundred and six low income women were studied postpartum to assess the relationship among medical risk factors, use of alcohol and drugs, race, content/amount of prenatal care and birth weight. Content of prenatal care was defined by the number of medical procedures performed and amount of care was determined by the Kessner Index. Women received prenatal care in 1-4 different sites. Those remaining in or transferring to sites performing the least number of routine prenatal procedures delivered babies with lower birth weights than those selecting sites performing more procedures. A path analysis (LISREL) constructed a priori to model the relationships among medical risk factors, use of alcohol and drugs, race, content/amount of prenatal care received and birth weight, revealed that women at high medical risk were more likely to receive care at sites offering more medical procedures while those who abused drugs and alcohol were significantly less likely to receive such care. Medical risk factors and the use of alcohol and drugs had significant negative effects on birth weight, while content and amount of prenatal care contributed to improved birth weight. These findings are discussed relative to issues of access to high quality prenatal care by patients at greatest risk and to the prevention of low birth weight infants.
AuthorsM L Poland, J W Ager, R J Sokol
JournalJournal of perinatal medicine (J Perinat Med) Vol. 19 Issue 6 Pg. 427-33 ( 1991) ISSN: 0300-5577 [Print] GERMANY
PMID1815038 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Birth Weight
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prenatal Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders

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