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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


COIMBRA, Liberata C et al. Factors associated with inadequacy of prenatal care utilization. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.4, pp.456-462. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with inadequacy of prenatal care utilization in urban community. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of a systematic sample stratified by maternity hospital, consisting of hospital births in the municipality of São Luís, Brazil, was carried out from March 1997 to February 1998. Socioeconomic and demographic factors, reproductive health, morbidity during pregnancy, and utilization of prenatal care services were studied. Mothers answered a standardized questionnaire before hospital discharge. The adequacy of prenatal care utilization was analyzed by means of two indexes: APNCU (Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization) and a new index based on the recommendations of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. RESULTS: There were interviewed 2,831 women who delivered at 10 public and private maternity hospitals. The inadequacy of prenatal care utilization was 49.2% according to the APNCU index and 24.5% when determined by the Brazilian index. Prenatal care at public services, low maternal schooling, low income, having no partner, and absence of maternal diseases during pregnancy were associated with inadequacy of prenatal care use according to both indexes. High parity and maternal age of 35 years or more were also associated with inadequacy, whereas primiparity, morbidity, and young maternal age (<20 years) seemed to protect from inadequacy when the Brazilian index was used. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal care showed low coverage in the municipality of São Luís. The inadequacy of prenatal care utilization was associated with several factors linked to social inequality.

Keywords : Prenatal care [statistics]; Maternal health services; Health services coverage; Quality of health care; Socioeconomic factors; Risk factors; Cross-sectional studies; Equity.

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