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Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

Purpose of the Program

The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is a statewide, ongoing, population-based survey that collects information on women who give birth in Georgia. GA PRAMS began in January 1993 and it supplements birth certificate data by collecting information on women's attitudes, experiences, and behaviors before, during, and after they deliver a live born infant.

Each month, a random sample of approximately 200 women is drawn from birth records and stratified by birth weight (low birth weight, normal birth weight) and race (black, other). Women are contacted by mail or telephone (for non-responders) within 2-6 months after delivery. Each mother's survey is linked to her infant's birth certificate

What is a PRAMS Questionnaire?

In Georgia, new mothers are sent a PRAMS questionnaire that consists of 90 questions. Along with the questionnaire, mothers are sent an introductory letter, a question and answer brochure about PRAMS, a calendar, a consent letter and a resource brochure. The PRAMS questionnaire consists of two parts. First, there are core questions that are asked by all states.

The core portion of the questionnaire includes questions about the following:

  • Attitudes and feelings about the most recent pregnancy.
  • Content and source of prenatal care.
  • Maternal alcohol and tobacco consumption.
  • Physical abuse before and during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy-related morbidity.
  • Infant health care.
  • Contraceptive use.
  • Mother's knowledge of pregnancy-related health issues, such as adverse effects of tobacco and alcohol; benefits of folic acid; and risks of HIV.

The remaining questions on the survey are chosen from a pretested list of standard questions developed by CDC or are developed by states on their own.

How can PRAMS data be used?

PRAMS provides information not available from other sources about pregnancy and the first few months after birth. This information can be used to identify groups of women and infants at high risk for health problems, to monitor changes in health status, and to measure progress towards goals in improving the health of mothers and infants.

PRAMS data are used by researchers to investigate emerging issues in the field of maternal and child health.

State and local governments use PRAMS data to plan and review programs and policies aimed at reducing health problems among mothers and babies.

PRAMS data are used by state agencies to identify other agencies that have important contributions to make in planning maternal and infant health programs and to develop partnerships with those agencies, the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, is a surveillance project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments. PRAMS collects state-specific, population-based information on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy.