Can Group Prenatal Care Help Save Lives?
Thanks in part to a recent $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Liwei Chen, M.D., Ph.D, Clemson assistant professor of public health sciences, and Amy Picklesimer, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology, GHS, are working together to explore this very question. So far the results of their research have been truly eye opening.
The duo is investigating the biomedical, behavioral and psychosocial outcomes by race of pregnant women who participate in Centering Pregnancy, an innovative model of group prenatal care, and comparing them to women involved in traditional, individual prenatal care. At the same time, they are finding out if women’s stress, activation and engagement will explain the potential benefits of group prenatal care on outcomes and health disparities.
Picklesimer and her team are implementing the Centering Pregnancy group prenatal care model with providers across the state, while Chen and her colleagues evaluate the participants’ health outcomes. If the results from their collaboration show that Centering Pregnancy care participation creates better maternal and infant health outcomes and lower pre-term birth rates than conventional, individual prenatal care, it will inform best practices for prenatal care, both in terms of quality and cost.