Group prenatal care may be beneficial or preferred to individual prenatal care in certain practice settings and patient populations, according to a recent committee opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) Committee on Obstetric Practice. Among the ACOG recommendations and conclusions:
- Group prenatal care models are designed to improve patient education and include opportunities for social support while maintaining the risk screening and physical assessment of individual prenatal care.
- Studies appear to demonstrate high levels of patient satisfaction, obstetric outcomes equally efficacious as individual prenatal care, and improved outcomes for some populations.
- Specific group prenatal care models can be challenging to initiate and maintain. The cost of initiating a group prenatal care model in current obstetric practices may be a barrier to implementation.
- When participation in group prenatal care is offered, it should be provided as an alternative option to traditional prenatal care and not mandated. Individual and group care models warrant additional study with a goal of demonstrating differences in outcomes and identifying populations that benefit most from specific care models.
Group prenatal care. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 731. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2018;131:e104–8.
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