SCREENING TO PREVENT PRE-TERM BIRTH
Screening to prevent pre-term birth
BackgroundPre-term birth is defined as delivery at less than 37 completed weeks' of gestation. Before 34 weeks gestation pre-term birth accounts for three-quarters of neonatal mortality and one half of neurological impairment in children. In response to a special call for proposals by the HTA Programme this project aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions to screen for and prevent pre-term birth.
An effective, affordable and safe intervention applied to all mothers without preceding testing is likely to be the most cost-effective approach to reducing spontaneous preterm births among asymptomatic antenatal women in early pregnancy for primary prevention. For secondary prevention among women symptomatic of threatened preterm labour in later pregnancy, a management strategy based on results of testing is likely to be more cost-effective.Conducted by: H Honest1, CA Forbes2, KH Durée2, G Norman2, SB Duffy2, A Tsourapas3, TE Roberts3, PM Barton3, SM Jowett3, CJ Hyde4, KS Khan1