The cookie-cutter approach and lack of convenient care options make it hard for some pregnant people, particularly low-income pregnant people of color, to justify prenatal care access, a trend that researchers said might drive racial health disparities. [PatientEngagementHIT]
Understanding patient needs, like more personalized prenatal care access and SDoH screening, will be essential to creating care models targeting racial maternal health disparities.
Prenatal care should be more tailored to the individual and include care that addresses social determinants of health, according to a qualitative study assessing viewpoints from pregnant people of color.
Racial maternal health disparities are well documented in the United States, with CDC figures showing that Black pregnant people are around three times more likely to die from childbirth than their White counterparts. And although implicit bias and institutional racism are strong drivers of these disparities, limited access to prenatal care is also influential, according to researchers from the University of Michigan Health.
But all too often, understanding access to prenatal care leaves out a core component: the perspective of the patient.
“Although certain populations face significant maternal health care inequities, their views have mostly been absent from prenatal care delivery research and we’ve lacked important information to redesign care to better meet their needs,” lead author Alex Peahl, MD, MSc, an obstetrician-gynecologist at University of Michigan Health Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, said in a statement.
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