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Matern Child Health J. 2014 Dec;18(10):2362-70. doi: 10.1007/s10995-014-1476-1.

Impact of psychosocial risk factors on prenatal care delivery: a national provider survey.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Magee-Womens Hospital, University of Pittsburgh, 300 Halket Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA,


To evaluate providers' perspectives regarding the delivery of prenatal care to women with psychosocial risk factors. A random, national sample of 2,095 prenatal care providers (853 obstetricians and gynecologists (Ob/Gyns), 270 family medicine (FM) physicians and 972 midwives) completed a mailed survey. We measured respondents' practice and referral patterns regarding six psychosocial risk factors: adolescence (age ≤19), unstable housing, lack of paternal involvement and social support, late prenatal care (>13 weeks gestation), domestic violence and drug or alcohol use. Chi square and logistic regression analyses assessed the association between prenatal care provider characteristics and prenatal care utilization patterns. Approximately 60 % of Ob/Gyns, 48.4 % of midwives and 32.2 % of FM physicians referred patients with psychosocial risk factors to clinicians outside of their practice. In all three specialties, providers were more likely to increase prenatal care visits with alternative clinicians (social workers, nurses, psychologists/psychiatrists) compared to themselves for all six psychosocial risk factors. Drug or alcohol use and intimate partner violence were the risk factors that most often prompted an increase in utilization. In multivariate analyses, Ob/Gyns who recently completed clinical training were significantly more likely to increase prenatal care utilization with either themselves (OR 2.15; 95 % CI 1.14-4.05) or an alternative clinician (2.27; 1.00-4.67) for women with high psychosocial risk pregnancies. Prenatal care providers frequently involve alternative clinicians such as social workers, nurses and psychologists or psychiatrists in the delivery of prenatal care to women with psychosocial risk factors.

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