The scientific basis of antenatal care: Report from a state-of-the-art conference

Authors

  • Gunilla Lindmark,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
      Gunilla Lindmark, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Akademiska Sjukhuset S-751, 55, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • Sven Cnattingius

    1. Department of Social Medicine, University Hospital, Uppsala, Swedn
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  • This is a summary of opinions expressed at the State-of-the-art Conference on the Scientific Basis of Antenatal Care, held at Gimo on May 21-23, 1990 and an assessment by the authors of the main conclusions of the conference.

Gunilla Lindmark, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Akademiska Sjukhuset S-751, 55, Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract

The routine program for antenatal care consists of a number of scheduled visits aiming at detection of symptomless complications such as hypertension and deviation in fetal growth, as well as giving psychosocial support and health education. In a Swedish state-of-the-art conference in May 1990, the scientific basis of this routine program was critically evaluated. It was clearly demonstrated that the scientific evidence to support present timing and contents of routine visits is unsatisfactory, and that there is a great need for evaluation both of single diagnostic procedures and intervention and of programs of antenatal care. Evaluations of antenatal care should consider not only pregnancy outcome but also patient satisfaction and cost-benefit analysis. Long-term follow-up studies are urgently needed, not only of the effects of complications but also of antenatal diagnosis and interventions.

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