What is Ohio PRAMS?
The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is a population-based survey designed to examine maternal behaviors and experiences before, during and after a woman’s pregnancy, and during the early infancy of her child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated PRAMS in 1987 in an effort to reduce infant mortality and the incidence of low birth weight. PRAMS was implemented in Ohio in April of 1999 and continued through 2015, then replaced by the Ohio Pregnancy Assessment Survey (OPAS) in 2016. Currently 40 states and New York City participate in PRAMS. For more information about the national PRAMS program, click here. For information about OPAS, click here.
PRAMS Goals and Objectives
The global goal of PRAMS is to reduce infant morbidity and mortality by influencing maternal behaviors during and immediately after pregnancy. Four specific objectives to achieve PRAMS’ goal are:
To collect population-based data of high scientific quality on topics related to pregnancy and early infancy.
To conduct comprehensive analyses to better understand the relationships between behaviors, attitudes, and experiences during and immediately after pregnancy.
To translate results from analyses into information for planning and evaluating public health programs and policy.
To build the capacity of states to collect, analyze, and translate data to address relevant public health issues.
How does PRAMS operate?
PRAMS questionnaires are mailed to approximately 200 new mothers in Ohio each month. Mothers who do not return their questionnaire are contacted for a telephone interview. The survey addresses topics such as alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, health care coverage, unintended pregnancy and prenatal care among others. The purpose of the survey is to identify why some babies are born healthy and others are not. All responses are kept confidential and identifying information, such as names and addresses, are used only for PRAMS operations such as mailings and telephone interviews.
How can data from PRAMS be used?
PRAMS supplements data from birth certificates for planning and assessing perinatal health programs on a state level. Because PRAMS data are population-based, findings from data analyses can be generalized to the entire state's population of women having live births. Health planners have used PRAMS data to help understand maternal behaviors and experiences and their relationship with adverse pregnancy outcomes. These findings can be used to develop and assess public health programs and policies to improve maternal and infant health.
Some additional uses for PRAMS data are:
To develop and implement new maternal and child health programs and to modify existing programs.
To influence public health policy.
To assist public health professionals in incorporating the latest research findings into their standards of practice.
To monitor progress toward local, state, and national health objectives and goals.
For questions about Ohio PRAMS data, please contact project director Reena Oza-Frank PhD., RD. at Reena.Oza-Frank@odh.ohio.gov