What is PRAMS
PRAMS stands for Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. It was launched in 1987 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of an initiative to reduce infant mortality and low birth weight. PRAMS is a survey that collects state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes, behaviors and experiences before, during and after pregnancy.
In New Hampshire, the PRAMS Project resides in the Maternal and Child Health Section of the Division of Public Health Services, within the Department of Health and Human Services. The PRAMS statewide steering committee is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals from the public and private sectors, as well as from the academic community.
PRAMS is funded through a five-year cooperative agreement with CDC. Forty states and New York City currently participate in PRAMS. New Hampshire joined the national effort and began data collection in 2013.
The Purpose of PRAMS
The purpose of the PRAMS project is to improve the health of mothers and infants by reducing adverse outcomes of pregnancy, such as low birth weight, infant mortality and morbidity, and maternal morbidity.
Research has shown that maternal behaviors during pregnancy may influence infant birth weight and mortality rates. PRAMS was designed to supplement state and national Vital Records data; it provides state-specific data on maternal behaviors and experiences, to be used for planning and assessing perinatal health programs, and for describing maternal experiences that may contribute to maternal and infant health.
Goals and Objectives of PRAMS
The overall goal of PRAMS is to reduce infant morbidity and mortality by influencing maternal behaviors during and immediately after pregnancy. Four specific objectives to achieve the PRAMS' goal are:
- To collect population-based data of high scientific quality
- To conduct comprehensive analyses
- To translate results from analyses into information for planning and evaluating public health programs and policies
- To build state capacity to collect, analyze, and translate data, in order to address relevant public health issues dealing with pregnancy and early infancy
We offer a free gift to all mothers selected to participate in PRAMS – an heirloom birth certificate/announcement for their baby. This 11" x 14" document is suitable for framing.
In New Hampshire, approximately one of every twelve mothers of newborns is selected for PRAMS. Mothers are randomly chosen from birth records. Women who delivered a low birth weight infant are selected at a higher rate to ensure that adequate data are available in this smaller but higher risk population. Selected women are first contacted by mail approximately two to six months after delivery of their baby. If there is no response to repeated mailings (up to three mailings), women are contacted and interviewed by telephone. Data collection procedures and instruments are standardized in all participating states.
Information Collected by PRAMS
The PRAMS questionnaire includes core questions that are asked by all participating states, as well as state-specific questions that are chosen or developed by individual states. The core portion of the questionnaire includes questions about the following:
- Attitudes and feelings about the most recent pregnancy
- Barriers to and content of prenatal care
- Use of alcohol and tobacco before and during pregnancy
- Awareness of benefits of folic acid
- Pregnancy-related violence or abuse
- Infant health care, sleep position, and exposure to tobacco smoke
- Psychosocial support and stress
New Hampshire selected topics include:
|Access the Current NH PRAMS Questionnaire|
Use of PRAMS Data
New Hampshire PRAMS provides data not available from other sources about pregnancy and early infancy. Findings from analyses of PRAMS population-based data can be generalized to New Hampshire's entire population of women who delivered a live-born infant. The same data collection methods are used in all PRAMS states, so New Hampshire data can be compared with other participating states. PRAMS data will be used in the following ways:
- To identify groups of women and infants at high risk for health problems
- To monitor changes in health status
- To measure progress toward goals in improving the health of mothers and infants
New Hampshire PRAMS data will be used by the State of New Hampshire to plan and review programs and policies aimed at reducing health problems among mothers and babies.
The data will also be used to identify other state and local agencies that have important contributions to make in planning maternal and infant health programs and to develop partnerships with those agencies.
Multi-state data sets for researchers are available through the CDC. Please see CDC's for PRAMS Researchers page for further information.
For more detailed PRAMS methodology, see CDC's PRAMS Methodology page.
For more information on PRAMS including other participating states, see the CDC's PRAM webpage