Enhancing Family Readiness through Group Prenatal Care


Name: Holly Kennedy

Rank: COL, USA

Organization: The Regents of the University of California

Performance Site: Blanchfield Army Hospital, Fort Campbell, KY; Bremerton Naval Hospital, Bremerton, WA

Year Published: 2004

Abstract Status: Final


This prospective clinical trial will examine the effect of an innovative model of group prenatal care on military family readiness and the military health care system. Approximately one million prenatal visits are conducted yearly for the population served by TRICARE, and prenatal care consumes 40% of its budget. The Defense Authorization Act 2002 permits women to choose whether or not to continue their care within the military system. A recent survey revealed that 25% of women currently receiving pregnancy-related care at military settings would opt to deliver in a civilian facility if given the choice. It is critical that the military health care system assures that prenatal care is both clinically and cost effective, while also attractive to consumers. CenteringPregnancyTM delivers prenatal care through an innovative tactic that meets these goals. Using a supportive group approach, family-centered care is facilitated with women in response to their personal needs assessment. In two short hours per session, 8-12 women see their provider at the appointed time, obtain their prenatal and childbirth education, and develop a cohesive community and supportive network. It helps them to prepare for future motherhood and fosters family health through a supportive and efficient group process. Early studies of this model indicate women are more satisfied with group care and have improved perinatal and infant health outcomes. We posit that the process of social support during group prenatal care is positively related to both military family readiness and the efficiency of health care delivery. The specific aims of the study are:

  1. To examine the effects of group prenatal care on military family readiness. Outcomes include: a) perinatal health behaviors, b) perinatal and infant health outcomes, and c) family health outcomes
  2. To examine the feasibility of group prenatal care in military health care settings and its effect on health care delivery. Outcomes include: a) system efficiency, b) patient and provider satisfaction with care, and c) cost.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013101288.xhtml