Does adopting a prenatal substance use protocol reduce racial disparities in CPS reporting related to maternal drug use? A California case study

S. C.M. Roberts, E. Zahnd, C. Sufrin, M. A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study examined whether adopting a standardized prenatal substance use protocol (protocol) in a hospital labor and delivery unit reduced racial disparities in reporting to child protective services (CPS) related to maternal drug use during pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: This study used an interrupted time series design with a non-equivalent control. One hospital adopted a protocol and another hospital group serving a similar geographic population did not change protocols. Data on CPS reporting disparities from these hospitals over 3.5 years were analyzed using segmented regression. RESULT: In the hospital that adopted the protocol, almost five times more black than white newborns were reported during the study period. Adopting the protocol was not associated with reduced disparities. CONCLUSION: Adopting a protocol cannot be assumed to reduce CPS reporting disparities. Efforts to encourage hospitals to adopt protocols as a strategy to reduce disparities may be misguided. Other strategies to reduce disparities are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-150
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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