Community-based, population-focused preterm birth prevention programs – a review

Dana Vitner, Jon Barrett, Wendy Katherine, Scott W. White, John P. Newnham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Preterm birth (PTB) is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Being born too early contributes to approximately 70% of neonatal mortality and approximately half of long-term neurodevelopmental disabilities. Various PTB prevention programs have been described going back more than 30 years, and some have described possible success in decreasing the rate of PTB. In addition, there are also PTB prenatal care clinics in many parts of the world, each with the singular goal of reducing the PTB rate in their region. Interventions can be directed at all women for primary prevention and reducing the risk of PTB or used to mitigate risk in women identified to be at increased risk. Methods: A Medline and ( search was performed (1982–2018), using preterm birth prevention program as the primary medical subject heading, reporting randomized clinical trials, quasi-experimental trials, and analytic studies (including retrospective and prospective cohort studies). We also searched Google for preterm birth prevention programs and prenatal care clinics published on-line. Results: Some prevention programs have reported success in lowering rates of PTB, principally using historical controls although the majority were not followed by improved outcomes. Conclusion: Increasing knowledge and the use of social media to enhance education should now enable greater effectiveness of new programs. Development of regional and national PTB prevention programs should now be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1328
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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