Questionnaire Identified Barriers to Obtaining Prenatal Care

The University of Iowa College of Medicine developed an ongoing statewide survey in Iowa to assess barriers to obtaining prenatal care.

A self-administered questionnaire was developed and distributed to all mothers delivering babies in Iowa hospitals. Data analyses were conducted by the University of Iowa Social Science Institute.

Results from the survey were reviewed quarterly by a committee representing providers and program administrators of prenatal services throughout the state. The committee used the results to identify shortfalls in perinatal service programs.

As problems in the system were identified, members of the committee met with appropriate program administrators to modify existing programs or develop new strategies to improve prenatal care.

Key Results

  • By the end of the grant period, 98 percent of Iowa's hospitals had participated with more than 55,000 surveys returned for analysis, a 50 percent response rate.

  • Results from the survey data prompted several program modifications and developments, including:

    • A hotline that automatically assigns women enrolled in Medicaid in Sioux City to a physician providing prenatal care.
    • A breast-feeding education program designed specifically for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
    • A mass mailing of information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other causes of infant mortality to women living in high-risk areas.