Estimating the Effect of Prenatal Care on Birth Outcomes

  • Emiliano SironiEmail author
  • Massimo Cannas
  • Francesco Mola
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Classification, Data Analysis, and Knowledge Organization book series (STUDIES CLASS)


Using data from official hospital abstracts on deliveries occurred in Sardinia during the years 2010 and 2011, we implemented an Augmented Inverse Probability Weighted (AIPW) model in order to study the effect of increased prenatal care during pregnancy on birth outcomes. Results showed that moderate levels of prenatal care, as measured by the number of sonograms, increase the Apgar score of the infant, while a higher number of sonograms does not have any additional marginal effect on the outcome.


Childbirth outcomes Treatment Effect IPW and AIPW models 



The authors would like to thank Regione Autonoma della Sardegna for providing the anonymized data used in the analysis.


  1. 1.
    Alexander, G.R., Kotelchuck, M.: Assessing the role and effectiveness of prenatal care: history, challenges, and directions for future research. Public Health Rep. 116(4), 306–316 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bennet, M.J.: Routine ultrasound and the gynaecology visit. Curr. Opin. Obstet. Gynecol. 10(5), 387–390 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cattaneo, M.D.: Efficient semiparametric estimation of multi-valued treatment effects under ignorability. J. Econometrics 155, 138–154 (2010)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cattaneo, M.D., Drukker, D.M., Holland, A.D.: Estimation of multivalued treatment effects under conditional independence. Stata J. 13, 407–450 (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eurocat Special Report: Prenatal Screening Policies in Europe. (2010)
  6. 6.
    Joyce, T.: Impact of augmented prenatal care on birth outcomes of Medicaid recipients in New York City. J. Health Econ. 18(1), 31–67 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Holland, P.W.: Statistics and causal inference. J. Am. Stat. Assoc. 81(396), 945–960 (1986)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liu, G.G.: Birth outcomes and the effectiveness of prenatal care. Health Serv. Res. J. 32(6), 805–823 (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress.: Healthy children: investing in the future. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (OTA-H-345) (1988)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Piper, J.M., Mitchel Jr., E.F., Ray, W.A.: Evaluation of a program for prenatal care case management. Fam. Plann. Perspect. 28, 65–68 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Racine, A.D., Joyce, T.J., Grossman, M.: Effectiveness of health care services for pregnant women and infants. Fam. Plann. Perspect. Future Child. 2(2), 40–57 (1992)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Salustiano, A.M.A., Bonini Campos, J.A.D., Ibidi, S.M., Ruano, R., Zugaib, M.: Low Apgar scores at 5 minutes in a low risk population: maternal and obstetrical factors and postnatal outcome. Revista da Associacao Médica Brasileira 58(5), 587–593 (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Thacker, S.B.: Quality of controlled clinical trials. The case of imaging ultrasound in obstetrics: a review. Br. J. Obstet. Gynaecol. 92, 437–444 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Villar, J., Ba’aqeel, H., Piaggio, G., Lumbignon, P., Belizan, J.M., Farnot, U.: WHO Antenatal Care Trial Research Group. Lancet 357(9268), 1551–1564 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emiliano Sironi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Massimo Cannas
    • 2
  • Francesco Mola
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze StatisticheUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche ed AziendaliUniversità di CagliariCagliariItaly

Personalised recommendations