Social deprivation negatively affects health outcomes but receives little attention in obstetric risk selection. We investigated whether a combination of (1) risk assessment focused on non-medical risk factors, lifestyle factors, and medical risk factors, with (2) subsequent institution of risk-specific care pathways, and (3) multidisciplinary consultation between care providers from the curative and the public health sector reduced adverse pregnancy outcomes among women in selected urban areas in the Netherlands. We conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial in 14 urban municipalities across the Netherlands. Prior to the randomisation, municipalities were ranked and paired according to their expected proportion of pregnant women at risk for adverse outcomes at birth. The primary outcome was delivery of a preterm and/or small for gestational age (SGA) baby, analysed with multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression analysis adjusting for clustering and individual baseline characteristics. A total of 33 community midwife practices and nine hospitals participated throughout the study. Data from 4302 participants was included in the Intention To Treat (ITT) analysis. The intervention had no demonstrable impact on the primary outcome: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.17 (95% CI 0.84–1.63). Among the secondary outcomes, the intervention improved the detection of threatening preterm delivery and fetal growth restriction during pregnancy [aOR 1.27 (95% CI 1.01–1.61)]. Implementation of additional non-medical risk assessment and preventive strategies into general practices is feasible but did not decrease the incidence of preterm and/or SGA birth in the index pregnancy in deprived urban areas. Trial registration Netherlands National Trial Register (NTR-3367).

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European Journal of Epidemiology
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Lagendijk, J, Vos, A.A, Bertens, L.C.M, Denktaş, S, Bonsel, G.J, Steyerberg, E.W, … Steegers, E.A.P. (2018). Antenatal non-medical risk assessment and care pathways to improve pregnancy outcomes: a cluster randomised controlled trial. European Journal of Epidemiology, 1–11. doi:10.1007/s10654-018-0387-7