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Does the CenteringPregnancy Group Prenatal Care Program Reduce Preterm Birth? The Conclusions Are Premature


  • Neal F. Devitt MD, FAAFP

    Corresponding author
    1. The Northern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A
    • the La Familia Medical Center, a Community Health Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A
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  • COMMENTARY ON: Picklesimer AH, Billings D, Hale N, Blackhurst D, Covington-Kolb S. The effect of CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care on preterm birth in a low-income population. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2012;206:415.e1-415.e7.

Address correspondence to Neal Devitt, MD, La Familia Medical Center, 1035 Alto Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505, USA.


Prenatal care is promoted as a means to a healthy pregnancy outcome. In the United States great resources have been spent to expand the availability of a program of prenatal care, but without evidence for its effectiveness in the general population. Despite greater access to prenatal care over the last several decades, there has been no improvement in obstetric outcomes, such as preterm delivery. The CenteringPregnancy program of group prenatal visits is a novel form of prenatal care that, according to several studies, has been said to improve satisfaction with prenatal visits and with pregnancy outcomes. A careful reading of the studies shows that those goals are yet to be achieved. Innovation is welcome and essential, but larger studies are needed to achieve statistical significance to demonstrate improved outcome. (BIRTH 40:1 March 2013)