Improvement in rural neonatal mortality: a case study of medical community intervention

Fam Med. Jul-Aug 1990;22(4):269-74.


Previous studies have demonstrated that maternity care by family physicians can produce statistically similar outcomes to obstetric management in some communities. Obstetrical and perinatal literature suggest that those specialties may be able to decrease rural neonatal mortality. However, family practice literature has not shown any examples of direct intervention decreasing neonatal mortality in rural areas. This paper presents an isolated rural Utah community which had a neonatal mortality rate twice that of the rest of the state from 1971-1980. Through local family practice initiatives, the neonatal mortality rate decreased in a significant fashion to a level equal to the rest of the state from 1981-1985. Other social, economic, and political factors which may influence the neonatal mortality rate were examined and did not contribute to decreased mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Services / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Rural Population*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Utah