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This article is part of the supplement: Preterm Birth - Interdisciplinary research from the Preterm Birth and Healthy Outcomes Team (PreHOT)

Open Access Research

Comparing CenteringPregnancy® to standard prenatal care plus prenatal education

Ingunn Benediktsson1, Sheila W McDonald2, Monica Vekved23, Deborah A McNeil3, Siobhan M Dolan4 and Suzanne C Tough25*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada

2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

3 Public Health Innovation and Decision Support, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

4 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY, USA

5 Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13(Suppl 1):S5  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-S1-S5

Published: 31 January 2013

Abstract

Background

There is significant evidence to support the importance of prenatal care in preventing adverse outcomes such as preterm birth and low infant birth weight. Previous studies have indicated that the benefits of prenatal care are not evenly distributed throughout the social strata. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that among particular populations, rates of preterm birth are unchanged or increasing. This suggests that an alternate care model is necessary, one that seeks to addresses some of the myriad of social factors that also contribute to adverse birth outcomes. In previous studies, the group prenatal care model CenteringPregnancy® had been shown to reduce adverse birth outcomes, but to date, no comparison had been made with a model that included prenatal education. This study sought to investigate whether any significant difference remained within the comparison groups when both models accounted for social factors.

Methods

This analysis was based on survey data collected from a prospective cohort of pregnant women through the All Our Babies Study in Calgary, Alberta.

Results

At baseline, there were significant differences between the comparison groups in their psychosocial health, with the women in the CenteringPregnancy® group scoring higher levels of depressive symptoms, stress and anxiety. At four months postpartum, the differences between the groups were no longer significant. Conclusions: These results suggest that CenteringPregnancy® can recruit and retain a demographically vulnerable group of women with a constellation of risk factors for poor pregnancy and birth outcomes, including poverty, language barriers and poor mental health. Post program, the rates of stress, anxiety and depression were similar to other women with more social and financial advantage. These findings suggest that CenteringPregnancy® may be a community based care strategy that contributes to improved mental health, knowledge, and behaviours to optimize outcomes for mothers and children.