Prenatal Education in a High-Risk Population: The Effect on Birth Outcomes

Authors

  • M. Kay Libbus Dr.P.H., R.N.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Kay Libbus is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Marjorie Sable is Chief of the Bureau of Perinatal and Child Health, Missouri Department of Health in Jefferson City. This study used data from a survey sponsored by the Missouri Department of Health and the Missouri Perinatal Association. The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Missouri State Center for Health Statistics.
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  • Marjorie R. Sable Dr.P.H., M.S.W.

    1. Kay Libbus is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Marjorie Sable is Chief of the Bureau of Perinatal and Child Health, Missouri Department of Health in Jefferson City. This study used data from a survey sponsored by the Missouri Department of Health and the Missouri Perinatal Association. The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Missouri State Center for Health Statistics.
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Address correspondence to Dr. M. Kay Libbus, S311 School of Nursing, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This case-control investigation examined the relationship between absence of specific educational content during prenatal care and risk of adverse birth outcomes. A total of 1484 women from three regions with high rates of low birthweight and infant mortality participated in structured postpartum interviews. Analyses were performed for both the full sample and three regional subsamples. For the full sample an adjusted risk ratio of 2.87 (95% CI = 1.75, 4.71) was noted between risk of preterm low birthweight and lack of advice to call the health provider if preterm labor were suspected. For one subsample an adjusted risk ratio of 2.50 (95% CI = 1.11, 5.60) was noted between the risk of preterm low birthweight and lack of education on the signs and symptoms of preterm labor. This study reinforces a body of literature that stresses the importance of appropriate prenatal care in preventing preterm low birthweight. It further suggests that adequacy measures of prenatal care should reflect quality and content as well as timing and number of prenatal visits.

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