The effect of CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care on preterm birth in a low-income population

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 May;206(5):415.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.01.040.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of group prenatal care on rates of preterm birth.

Study design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 316 women in group prenatal care that was compared with 3767 women in traditional prenatal care. Women self-selected participation in group care.

Results: Risk factors for preterm birth were similar for group prenatal care vs traditional prenatal care: smoking (16.9% vs 20%; P = .17), sexually transmitted diseases (15.8% vs 13.7%; P = .29), and previous preterm birth (3.2% vs 5.4%; P = .08). Preterm delivery (<37 weeks' gestation) was lower in group care than traditional care (7.9% vs 12.7%; P = .01), as was delivery at <32 weeks' gestation (1.3% vs 3.1%; P = .03). Adjusted odds ratio for preterm birth for participants in group care was 0.53 (95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.81). The racial disparity in preterm birth for black women, relative to white and Hispanic women, was diminished for the women in group care.

Conclusion: Among low-risk women, participation in group care improves the rate of preterm birth compared with traditional care, especially among black women. Randomized studies are needed to eliminate selection bias.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Odds Ratio
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Poverty*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / ethnology
  • Premature Birth / etiology
  • Premature Birth / prevention & control*
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • South Carolina