Women with low-risk pregnancies reported improved satisfaction with a program called OB Nest that combined a reduced number of in-person prenatal visits with in-home monitoring, according to a presentation this week at the Clinical and Scientific Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic compared usual care that involves 12 to 14 visits with an obstetrician to the OB Nest program, in which patients had eight in-person appointments and six "virtual care" visits with a trained nurse by phone or email. Participants also used home monitoring equipment for fetal heart rate and maternal blood pressure. In addition, they could be part of an online community of OB Nest participants and nurses, according to an announcement.
Patients in the OB Nest group reported higher satisfaction with their care at 36 weeks than those undergoing usual care. OB Nest patients also reported significantly less pregnancy-related stress at 14 and 36 weeks, though no significant difference was found at 24 weeks. There also was no significant difference in perceived quality of care in terms of communication or decision making between the two groups.
The program saves patients the inconvenience of multiple check-in visits if all is going well while still providing resources to address concerns, and it allows providers more time to spend on higher-risk patients.
The researchers found no significant difference in maternal/fetal events, incidence of cesarean delivery, preterm birth, birth weight, or an Apgar score. Nurses spent more time with OB Nest patients, and incidence of gestational diabetes in the OB Nest group was higher, but not significant, reports MedPage Today.