Development of a Blueprint for Integrated Care for Vulnerable Pregnant Women

H. W. Harmsen van der Vliet-Torij*, A. A. Venekamp, H. J.M. van Heijningen-Tousain, E. Wingelaar-Loomans, J. Scheele, J. P. de Graaf, M. P. Lambregtse-van den Berg, E. A.P. Steegers, M. J.B.M. Goumans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: There has been increasing awareness of perinatal health and organisation of maternal and child health care in the Netherlands as a result of poor perinatal outcomes. Vulnerable women have a higher risk of these poor perinatal outcomes and also have a higher chance of receiving less adequate care. Therefore, within a consortium, embracing 100 organisations among professionals, educators, researchers, and policymakers, a joint aim was defined to support maternal and child health care professionals and social care professionals in providing adequate, integrated care for vulnerable pregnant women. Description: Within the consortium, vulnerability is defined as the presence of psychopathology, psychosocial problems, and/or substance use, combined with a lack of individual and/or social resources. Three studies focussing on population characteristics, organisation of care and knowledge, skills, and attitudes of professionals regarding vulnerable pregnant women, were carried out. Outcomes were discussed in three field consultations. Assessment: The outcomes of the studies, followed by the field consultations, resulted in a blueprint that was subsequently adapted to local operational care pathways in seven obstetric collaborations (organisational structures that consist of obstetricians of a single hospital and collaborating midwifery practices) and their collaborative partners. We conducted 12 interviews to evaluate the adaptation of the blueprint to local operational care pathways and its’ embedding into the obstetric collaborations. Conclusion: Practice-based research resulted in a blueprint tailored to the needs of maternal and child health care professionals and social care professionals and providing structure and uniformity to integrated care provision for vulnerable pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-460
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all the partners of the consortium concerning pregnancy and childbirth in the Southwest region of the Netherlands for their important contribution to the studies and the development of the blueprint and adapting it to local operational care pathways. The development of the blueprint was managed and coordinated by the project team of the consortium. All co-authors proofread the article and contributed to the content of the article. This work was supported by ZonMw (the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development); ZonMw Project Numbers 209010010 and 2090100101. ZonMw supported the development of the consortium, the research projects and adapting the blueprint into local care pathways, including the start of further embedding of the local care pathways with three grants.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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