Determinants of prenatal health care utilisation by low-risk women: A prospective cohort study

Esther I. Feijen-de Jong*, Danielle E. M. C. Jansen, Frank Baarveld, Agatha W. Boerleider, Evelien Spelten, Francois Schellevis, Sijmen A. Reijneveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prenatal health care is pivotal in providing adequate prevention and care to pregnant women.

Aim: We examined the determinants of inadequate prenatal health care utilisation by low-risk women in primary midwifery-led care in the Netherlands.

Methods: We used longitudinal data from the population-based DELIVER study with 20 midwifery practices across the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010 as the experimental setting. The participants were 3070 pregnant women starting pregnancy care in primary midwifery care.

Findings: We collected patient-reported data on potential determinants of prenatal care utilisation derived from the Andersen model. Prenatal health care utilisation was measured by a revised version of the Kotelchuck Index, which measures a combination of care entry and number of visits. Low-risk pregnant women (not referred during pregnancy) were more likely to use prenatal care inadequately if they intended to deliver at a hospital, if they did not use folic acid adequately periconceptionally, or if they were exposed to cigarette smoke during pregnancy. Among those who were referred to secondary care, women reporting a chronic illnesses or disabilities, and women who did not use folic acid periconceptionally were more likely to make inadequate use of prenatal care.

Conclusion: Inadequate prenatal health care use in primary midwifery care is more likely in specific groups, and the risk groups differ when women are referred to secondary care. The findings suggest routes that can target interventions to women who are at risk of not adequately using prenatal prevention and care services. (C) 2015 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Australia (a division of Reed International Books Australia Pty Ltd). All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2015


  • Pregnancy
  • Health care utilisation
  • Public health
  • Obstetrics
  • Midwifery

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