Factors that influence special care nursery admissions to a district hospital in South-western Sydney


Dr Hai Phung, The Simpson Centre for Health Services Research/UNSW, Liverpool Hospital, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool BC NSW 1871, Australia. Fax: +61 2 9828 6111; email: hai.phung@swsahs.nsw.gov.au


Objectives: To explore the socio-demographic factors and maternal characteristics that influence special care nursery (SCN) admission for infants of more than 34 weeks' gestation. Particularly, this paper aims (i) to estimate the incidence of SCN admission by various mothers' socio-demographic factors; and (ii) to investigate the relationship between SCN admission and mothers' socio-demographic and obstetric and gynaecological factors.

Methods: This was a cohort study of 10 148 pregnant women who accessed the birthing unit within a public district hospital in south-western Sydney in New South Wales, between 1998 and 2001. The main outcome measure was risk factors for SCN admission.

Results: The incidence of SCN admission was 11.7%. Multivariate analysis revealed that the risk factors for SCN admission were diabetes, gestational diabetes, high parity, pregnancy induced hypertension, living in suburbs with low education and occupation index, and no private health insurance status.

Conclusions: The results from this large population-based study suggest that, apart from clinical/medical factors, admission to a special care nursery at a District Hospital was significantly affected by maternal insurance status and level of education and occupation.