DOI: 10.1111/jjns.12581 ISSN: 1742-7932

A survey of screening and support systems for socially high‐risk pregnancies at obstetric facilities in Japan

Kumiko Otsuka, Aiko Okatsu, Satoko Wada, Nobuaki Mitsuda, Yaeko Kataoka
  • Research and Theory



To clarify the state of screening and support systems for socially high‐risk pregnant women at obstetric facilities across Japan and identify the characteristics of facilities related to the implementation of screening.


This cross‐sectional study used a self‐administered questionnaire. Participants were managers of hospitals, clinics, and midwifery birth centers handling deliveries in 47 prefectures across Japan. The questionnaire comprised items regarding the characteristics of participants and their facilities, service provision related to socially high‐risk women available at the facility, the number of specified pregnant women (tokutei ninpu) per year, methods of screening, and support systems within the obstetric facilities. Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed using IBM‐SPSS version 24 for the association between facility characteristics and screening practices for socially high‐risk pregnant women.


Valid responses were received from 716 of 2512 obstetric facilities. Rates of specified expectant mothers per annual number of deliveries were identified as follows: perinatal medical centers (2.7%), general hospitals (1.6%), obstetrics and gynecology hospitals (1.0%), and clinics (0.8%). A total of 426 facilities (60.6%) reported screening all expectant mothers to identify socially high‐risk pregnant women. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that facility characteristics and service/care provision related to screening practices included availability of in‐hospital midwife‐led care and in‐hospital midwifery clinics (adjusted odds ratio 1.61; 95% CI [1.30, 1.47]), one‐on‐one care by midwife (1.73; 95% CI [1.15, 2.59]), multidisciplinary meetings within the facility (1.70; 95% CI [1.14, 2.56]), follow‐up support systems after discharge (1.90; 95% CI [1.17, 3.09]), and participation in the regional council for children in need of protection (2.33; 95% CI [1.13, 4.81]).


Approximately 60% of surveyed obstetric facilities screen for socially high‐risk women. Increasing service provision at facilities may be necessary to implement screening.

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