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J Perinatol. 2015 Feb;35(2):146-50. doi: 10.1038/jp.2014.168. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Does adopting a prenatal substance use protocol reduce racial disparities in CPS reporting related to maternal drug use? A California case study.

Author information

1
Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA, USA.
2
Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA, USA.
3
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined whether adopting a standardized prenatal substance use protocol (protocol) in a hospital labor and delivery unit reduced racial disparities in reporting to child protective services (CPS) related to maternal drug use during pregnancy.

STUDY DESIGN:

This study used an interrupted time series design with a non-equivalent control. One hospital adopted a protocol and another hospital group serving a similar geographic population did not change protocols. Data on CPS reporting disparities from these hospitals over 3.5 years were analyzed using segmented regression.

RESULT:

In the hospital that adopted the protocol, almost five times more black than white newborns were reported during the study period. Adopting the protocol was not associated with reduced disparities.

CONCLUSION:

Adopting a protocol cannot be assumed to reduce CPS reporting disparities. Efforts to encourage hospitals to adopt protocols as a strategy to reduce disparities may be misguided. Other strategies to reduce disparities are needed.

PMID:
25233193
DOI:
10.1038/jp.2014.168
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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