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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology