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Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System - The best source of data on Mothers and Babies

PRAMS Methodology

Brief Description

Breastfeeding mother

The PRAMS sample of women who have had a recent live birth is drawn from the state's birth certificate file. Iowa samples about 1,800 women per year. Women from some groups are sampled at a higher rate to ensure adequate data are available in smaller but higher risk populations.

Selected women are first contacted by mail. If there is no response to repeated mailings, women are contacted and interviewed by telephone. Women who complete the survey (either by mail or phone) are mailed a $10 gift certificate for diapers.

Data collection procedures and instruments are standardized to allow comparisons between states.

Detailed PRAMS Methodology

One strength of the PRAMS surveillance system is the standardized data collection methodology. This standardized approach allows for comparisons among states and for optimal use of the data for single-state or multi-state analysis. Each state follows the protocol, but also has the opportunity to customize some portions of it to tailor the procedures to the needs of the state.

PRAMS combines two modes of data collection: a survey conducted by mailed questionnaire with multiple follow-up attempts, and a survey by telephone. Here is the sequence of contacts for PRAMS surveillance as performed in Iowa:

Sequence of Activities

Methodology table (textual equivalent below)

Table Description

The pre-letter is mailed on Day 1 of the mail phase. This letter introduces PRAMS to the mother and informs her that questionnaire will soon arrive. The initial mail questionnaire packet is mailed on Day 4. This packet is sent to all sampled mothers three days after the pre-letter was mailed. A reminder letter is sent on Day 11 and serves as a thank you and a reminder note to return the survey. On Day 18, a questionnaire packet is mailed to all sampled mothers who have not responded. A third questionnaire packet is mailed on Day 25 to the remaining non-respondents. If a mom does not respond with a completed questionnaire by day 32, she will be contacted by telephone to complete the survey over the phone. Phone follow-up ends on Day 53.