Objective: to evaluate the effectiveness of a reduced-frequency prenatal visit schedule by comparing perinatal outcomes, anxiety and maternal satisfaction with prenatal care.
Methods: pregnancy outcomes of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality, anxiety and satisfaction for 81 women receiving prenatal care at a free-standing birthing center according to either an alternative prenatal care visit schedule (APCVS) (n = 43) or the traditional prenatal care visit schedule (TPCVS) (n = 38) were examined in this prospective randomized study. Upon entry into prenatal care, all women were of low obstetrical risk status.
Results: major findings revealed no significant differences in selected perinatal outcomes between the two study groups. Women in the APCVS group reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction than women in the TPCVS group on both the satisfaction with provider subscale (F = 5.74, P = .02) and the satisfaction with the prenatal care system subscale (F = 2.01, P = .04). There were no statistically significant differences found in anxiety scores between women in the two study groups.
Conclusions: low-risk women who followed the reduced-frequency visit schedule experienced no difference in perinatal outcomes or anxiety. Women in the reduced-frequency (APCVS) group reported an increased level of satisfaction with both provider and the prenatal care system.