Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 131–143 | Cite as

A Performance Indicator of Psychosocial Services in Enhanced Prenatal Care of Medicaid-Eligible Women

  • Deborah Schild Wilkinson
  • Carol C. KorenbrotEmail author
  • John Greene


Objective: Psychosocial services for low-income pregnant women vary widely in practice, and validated indicators of effective performance are lacking. The study presented here aims to determine whether a measure of provider compliance with a psychosocial service delivery guideline is associated with improved birth outcomes and therefore meets an important validity criterion of a performance indicator. Methods: Data on psychosocial services delivered to 3467 pregnant women came from 27 sites certified by the California Department of Health Services to provide enhanced perinatal services to Medicaid-eligible women. Multivariate regression analyses were used to test the association of adequate service delivery according to a performance guideline with birth outcomes and the dependence of the association on the credentials of the provider and the type of practice setting. Results: Women who received at least one psychosocial assessment each trimester of care according to the guideline were half as likely as women with inadequate services to have a low birthweight (OR = 0.49; CI 0.34, 0.71) or preterm birth (OR = 0.53; CI 0.40, 0.72) outcome. The effect did not depend on the credentials of the provider or the practice setting type. Conclusions: The indicator of the adequacy of psychosocial services according to a performance guideline appears to meet a fundamental criterion for a performance indicator, an association with improved outcomes. This indicator may be useful in monitoring performance of enhanced perinatal services for continuous quality improvement of services to low-income pregnant women.

Pregnancy prenatal care enhanced prenatal care support services enabling services low birthweight preterm birth practice setting variation in practice psychosocial services 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Schild Wilkinson
    • 1
  • Carol C. Korenbrot
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Greene
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco

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