Birth Outcomes Related to Distance in Rural and Frontier Kansas
Birth Outcomes Related to Distance
Keywords:birth outcomes, distance traveled, rural Kansas
Introduction. Women from rural communities must travel greater distances to secure obstetrical care. This study sought the extent to which distance traveled by mothers for obstetrical services affects birth outcomes in rural and frontier counties of Kansas.
Methods. Medical students invited women over the age of 18 to participate in a recall survey regarding their children under three years old. Participants were a sample of convenience, and the length of data collection was a month. A bivariate analysis was performed on the responses gathered regarding obstetrical measures as a function of self-reported distance traveled to the hospital of delivery.
Results. Eighty-five women completed the survey, but only 76 satisfied all eligibility requirements. No statistical difference in birth outcomes were found between women who travel more than or less than 20 miles. However, when correlating data to that of the Kansas Hospital Association and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, counties without birth facilities had a higher percentage of very low birth weights (< 1,500 grams) and more babies born at full-term when compared to counties that offer birth facilities. Babies born to mothers who reside in counties with obstetrical services were born at an earlier gestational age than those without birth facilities. Lastly, babies born into a family with income less than $50,000 weighed less and had a shorter gestational age than those from a more affluent household.
Conclusions. The results revealed counterintuitive findings that deserve to be explored further by a study with greater statistical power.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Janet A. Montelongo, Joel Hake, M.D., Bruce S. Liese, Ph.D., Michael Kennedy, M.D.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
All articles in the Kansas Journal of Medicine are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0).