Effectiveness of patient education to reduce preterm delivery among ordinary risk patients

Am J Perinatol. 1989 Apr;6(2):214-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-999579.


Patient education is an important component of all preterm birth prevention programs, but studies of these programs have not examined the independent contribution of patient education to preterm birth prevention. The Program to Reduce Obstetrical Problems and Prematurity in the Bronx, New York, is a multifaceted preterm birth prevention program that includes a half hour combined videotape and nurse discussion session, which was offered to all patients. In evaluating the outcome of pregnancies in patients not at high risk for preterm delivery (ordinary risk patients) we found that patients who received instruction to recognize early signs of preterm labor had babies with a higher birthweight (3255 +/- 548 gm) than patients who were not so instructed (3200 +/- 599 gm, p = 0.03). Average length of gestation in the instructed and noninstructed patients was 276 +/- 15 days and 275 +/- 18 days (p = 0.12), respectively. The preterm delivery rate among patients receiving the instruction was 9.5% compared with 11.5% among those who did not receive it. We conclude that specific prenatal education about early warning signs of preterm labor is an important component of preterm birth prevention programs that can be demonstrated to have an independent contribution to prenatal care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / prevention & control*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care
  • Risk Factors