Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

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Last Update 10/17/13

What is PRAMS?

What are the goals and objectives of PRAMS?

How does PRAMS work?

Who are the partners in PRAMS?

What information does the PRAMS questionnaire collect?

What is the timeframe for NE PRAMS?

How can data from PRAMS be used?


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What is PRAMS?

NE PRAMS, the Nebraska Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, is a monthly survey of new mothers from across the state.  NE PRAMS partners with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), to identify and monitor selected maternal behaviors and experiences before, during, and right after pregnancy.

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What are the goals and objectives of PRAMS?

  • The goal of PRAMS is to reduce infant illness and death.   PRAMS influences the health care systems and maternal behaviors that affect health during and right after pregnancy.  Four specific objectives are to:
  • Collect population-based data of high scientific quality on topics related to pregnancy and early infancy;
  • Conduct comprehensive analyses in order to better understand relationships between the behaviors, attitudes, and experiences of a woman during and right after pregnancy;
  • Translate results from analyses into information to be used for planning and evaluating public health programs and policy;
  • Build capacity to collect, analyze and translate data that address relevant and timely maternal and child health issues.

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How does PRAMS work?

Each month, a stratified sample of approximately 200 mothers is randomly selected from recent birth certificates.  An introductory letter is mailed to each woman in the sample between two and six months after the baby's birth.  The PRAMS survey is mailed a few days later.  A second and then third survey package is mailed to mothers who do not respond.  PRAMS staff then telephone those mothers who have not responded to the survey mailings.  Responses are collected in a database and weighted to represent all women giving birth in Nebraska.

PRAMS written materials and telephone interviews are available in both English and Spanish.

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Who are the partners in PRAMS?

NE PRAMS is operated by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, and is guided on suggestions by an external Steering Committee.  Those members are drawn from maternal and child health stakeholder organizations across the state.  The CDC provides partial funding and technical assistance. Contact the CDC at cdcinfo@cdc.gov.

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What information does the PRAMS survey collect?

The survey consists of a core component used by all states participating in PRAMS, and a state-specific component developed to address Nebraska's particular data needs.  The survey, which is designed to provide data on topics not available elsewhere, includes the following:

  • Attitudes and feelings about the pregnancy
  • Barriers to and content of prenatal care
  • Nutrition and folic acid awareness
  • Pregnancy-related violence
  • Psychosocial support and stress
  • Use of alcohol and tobacco before, during and after pregnancy
  • Infant's early development, health care, and exposure to passive smoke
  • HIV testing
  • Health insurance coverage

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What is the timeframe for NE PRAMS?

NE PRAMS is an ongoing surveying program.  Published reports are based on births from January to December.  

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How can data from PRAMS be used?

Findings from PRAMS' population-based data can be generalized to the entire population of Nebraska women whose pregnancies resulted in a live birth.   Examples of findings from other states' PRAMS data have been used to:

  • Enhance and expand the understanding of maternal behaviors and experiences, and their relationship to unfavorable pregnancy outcomes;
  • Develop and implement new maternal and child health programs, as well as evaluate and modify existing programs;
  • Influence public health policy;
  • Assist health professionals to incorporate the latest research findings into their standards of practice;
  • Monitor progress on local, state and national health objectives and goals.

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For more information, contact:
Brenda Coufal
PRAMS Project Coordinator
Phone: (402) 471-9044
Fax: (402) 471-7049
E-mail: brenda.coufal@nebraska.gov