Regional disparities in prenatal care services in rural China

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2011 Sep;23(5):682-9. doi: 10.1177/1010539511418356. Epub 2011 Aug 18.


The study compared the prenatal care programs in the Central-East, Northwest, and Southwest regions of China. Data were collected on 14 indicators of the quality of the prenatal care process, as well as the percentage of women with high-risk pregnancies who were screened. The average number of prenatal examinations for those women who received prenatal care was 5.01, and 62.6% of pregnant women had their first examination within 12 weeks of their pregnancy. About 35% of these pregnant women had at least 1 high-risk screening, and 20.8% had 3 high-risk screenings. Among the 3 regions, the Central-East region had the best overall quality prenatal services, and the Northwest area had the poorest quality. The quality of prenatal health care in poor, rural China is in need of improvement.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physical Examination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / standards*
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Risk Assessment
  • Rural Health Services / standards*
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors