The strategy of risk approach in antenatal care: evaluation of the referral compliance

B Dujardin, G Clarysse, B Criel, V De Brouwere, N Wangata

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


The main goal of antenatal care in developing countries is to identify women whose pregnancy or delivery is likely to raise problems and to refer them at the appropriate time to a hospital facility where the necessary medical equipment and expertise (vacuum extractors, cesarian sections, human skill, etc.) is available. This approach, which is known as the Risk Approach (RA) strategy, is expected to significantly reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. However, the RA will function properly only if the women identified at risk agree to give birth in a hospital on the one hand, and if they can indeed reach this hospital on the other hand. In this article the authors assess to what extent women with a risk of difficult labor (nulliparous or primiparous women under 150 cm, history of previous difficult delivery or stillbirth, women with transverse lie) agreed to give birth in a hospital. This descriptive survey, which covered 5060 pregnancies monitored in the Kasongo District, Maniema, in eastern Zaire, showed that the referral success rate in this socioeconomically very disadvantaged region was only 33%, despite some favorable conditions, such as a strong emphasis on community participation, a complementarity of health centers and hospital, and the absence of financial barriers within the health services system. Of the various hypotheses tested, the geographic accessibility of the hospital and the parturient's perception of the risk status were the two most important factors determining the compliance rate. A stratified analysis shows that the intensity of the parturient's perception has a different impact on compliance whether rural or urban situations are considered. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Pages (from-to)529-535
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • B780-tropical-medicine
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal care
  • Risk approach
  • Referral
  • Compliance
  • Congo-Kinshasa
  • Kasongo
  • Africa-Central


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