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Acceptability of Dyad Care Management After Preterm Birth: A Qualitative Study

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Care management programs for medically complex infants interact with parents after complicated pregnancies, when gaps in maternal health care are well documented. These care managers may have the relationships and skills to promote postpartum and interconception health and health care access. It is unknown whether expanding these care management models to address maternal needs would be acceptable. We conducted qualitative interviews with women with a history of preterm birth and clinicians. For women with a history of preterm birth, additional inclusion criteria were Medicaid-insured infant in one health system and English proficiency. We purposively oversampled women whose infants received care management. Clinicians worked in two geographically adjacent health systems. Interviews explored priorities after preterm birth and perceived acceptability of mother-infant dyad care management. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and coded following an integrated approach in which we applied a priori codes and captured emergent themes. We interviewed 33 women (10/2018-7/2021) and 24 clinicians (3/2021-8/2021). Women were predominantly non-Hispanic Black, and 15 had infants receiving care management. Clinicians included physicians, nurses, and social workers from Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Family Medicine. Subgroups converged thematically, finding care management acceptable. Tailoring programs to address stress and sleep, emphasizing care managers with strong interpersonal skills and shared experiences with care management users, and program flexibility would contribute to acceptability. Dyad care management after preterm birth is acceptable to potential program end-users and clinicians. Dyad health promotion may contribute to improved birth outcomes, infant, and parent health.


Gregory EF, Beidas RS, Fiks AG, Lorch SA, Levine LD, Rubin DM, Maddox AI, O'Sullivan AL, Wu KK, Cronholm PF