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.
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