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Matern Child Health J. 1998 Sep;2(3):131-43.

A performance indicator of psychosocial services in enhanced prenatal care of Medicaid-eligible women.

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1
Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Psychosocial services for low-income pregnant women vary widely in practice, and validated indicators of effective performance are lacking. The study presented here aims to determine whether a measure of provider compliance with a psychosocial service delivery guideline is associated with improved birth outcomes and therefore meets an important validity criterion of a performance indicator.

METHODS:

Data on psychosocial services delivered to 3467 pregnant women came from 27 sites certified by the California Department of Health Services to provide enhanced perinatal services to Medicaid-eligible women. Multivariate regression analyses were used to test the association of adequate service delivery according to a performance guideline with birth outcomes and the dependence of the association on the credentials of the provider and the type of practice setting.

RESULTS:

Women who received at least one psychosocial assessment each trimester of care according to the guideline were half as likely as women with inadequate services to have a low birthweight (OR = 0.49; CI 0.34, 0.71) or preterm birth (OR = 0.53; CI 0.40, 0.72) outcome. The effect did not depend on the credentials of the provider or the practice setting type.

CONCLUSIONS:

The indicator of the adequacy of psychosocial services according to a performance guideline appears to meet a fundamental criterion for a performance indicator, an association with improved outcomes. This indicator may be useful in monitoring performance of enhanced perinatal services for continuous quality improvement of services to low-income pregnant women.

PMID:
10728270
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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