Pregnant women who received group prenatal care in military treatment facilities— through a model known as CenteringPregnancy—reported higher patient satisfaction ratings related to access to care than women who received traditional individual prenatal care in the same facilities, according to a recent study by researchers at Altarum and the Defense Health Agency. The mixed-methods research suggests the CenteringPregnancy model of care may help improve access to care among expectant mothers.
Prenatal care in the United States typically consists of one-on-one encounters between an individual and their provider. An alternative to traditional prenatal care is CenteringPregnancy (Centering). Centering focuses on grouping patients by gestational age for group care. Some benefits of Centering include improved mental health, prenatal knowledge, level of involvement in their own care, adherence to attending their postpartum visit, as well as meeting social support needs and overall care satisfaction.
The researchers analyzed data from the former TRICARE Outpatient Satisfaction Survey (TROSS) supplemented with administrative data from the Comprehensive Ambulatory/Professional Encounter Record (CAPER) data set.
A key finding from the study is that women participating in the Centering model had twice the number of higher patient experience scores on accessing care in a timely manner compared to women in individual care at the same clinic. This is particularly important, as military care settings have had historically low ratings on access to care compared to other quality-of-care measures.
Below are additional highlights from the study:
The military population faces unique stressors that can contribute to pregnancy complications, from long deployments away from loved ones and frequent moves. And since military treatment facilities allow for a more tailored experience for this population, they are well positioned to try alternative models of care such as CenteringPregnancy.
This study was conducted by Tara Trudnak Fowler, PhD, of Altarum; Kimberley Marshall Aiyelawo, PhD, of the Defense Health Agency; Chantell Frazier, PhD, of Altarum; Craig Holden, PhD, of Altarum; and Joseph Dorris, MS, of Altarum.
Read the full study in the Journal of Patient Experience: Health Care Experience Among Women Who Completed Group Prenatal Care (CenteringPregnancy) Compared to Individual Prenatal Care Within Military Treatment Facilities