The Impact of Prenatal Care and Its Relationship to Birth Outcomes at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

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Advisor: James Diamond, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA


The goal of this study was to determine if the timing of prenatal care (PNC) initiation and maternal clinical characteristics are related to infants’ health outcomes. This was a retrospective chart review conducted at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital of a random sample of 403 charts from all live deliveries that occurred between March 31, 2007 and April 1, 2008. Chi-square testing did not support the hypothesis that timing of PNC initiation has a significant effect on infants' outcomes. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify relationships between maternal clinical characteristics and infant outcomes. It was found that race [Adjusted Odds Ratio for African American women versus others is 2.4 – 95% CI (1.122, 5.156)] and maternal age [Adjusted OR is 1.1 – 95% CI (1.013, 1.153)] were significantly related to low birth weight infants (<2500 grams). Similar analysis of preterm deliveries revealed a significant relationship for maternal age [Adjusted OR is 1.1 (1.04,1.18)] and insurance [Adjusted OR for private insurance versus Medicaid is 0.3 ((0.13, 0.79)]. No evidence was found to support the hypothesis that early prenatal care is associated with improved infant health at TJUH. A relationship was found between maternal clinical characteristics and infant outcome.