What is PRAMS?

The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), is a surveillance project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments. PRAMS is an ongoing, state-specific, population-based survey designed to collect information on maternal experiences and behaviors prior to, during, and immediately following pregnancy among mothers who have recently given birth to a live infant. PRAMS was initiated in 1987 in an effort to reduce infant mortality and the incidence of low birth weight infants.  Currently there are 47 states conducting PRAMS surveillance. PRAMS surveillance in Utah began in May 1999.

Why is PRAMS important?
  • PRAMS provides data not available from any other source for public health officials to use to improve the health of mothers and infants.
  • PRAMS enhances information from birth certificates and is used to plan and review state maternal and infant health programs.
  • PRAMS allows CDC and the states to monitor changes in maternal and child health indicators (e.g. unintended pregnancy, prenatal care, breastfeeding, smoking, drinking, infant health).
  • Maternal and infant health data can be compared among other participating states as the same data collection methods are used in all states.
How does Utah PRAMS work?

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Each month, a sample of approximately 200 new mothers is randomly selected from Utah birth certificates.  Approximately one out of every 19 new Utah mothers will be selected to participate in the PRAMS project.

PRAMS uses a combination of two data collection approaches: statewide mailings of the surveys and telephone follow-up with women who do not return the survey by mail.

Two to four months after delivery, an introductory letter is mailed to each woman in the sample. The PRAMS questionnaire is mailed a week later. A second and third questionnaire are mailed to those who do not respond.  An experienced interviewer will then telephone mothers who have not responded to the mailings. Following this CDC developed protocol, a 60% response rate is expected. The responses are then weighted to be representative of all women giving birth in Utah.

What information does PRAMS collect?

The questionnaire consists of a core set of questions used by each of the participating states and state-specific questions developed to address each state’s particular data needs. The questionnaire covers the following topics:

  • Attitudes and feelings about the most recent pregnancy
  • Prenatal and postnatal care
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco and e-cigarettes
  • Physical abuse
  • Social support and stress
  • Infant health care
  • Infant safe sleep
  • Mother’s knowledge about pregnancy
  • Oral health
  • Breastfeeding
  • Chronic health conditions of the mother
  • Contraception use
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Postpartum depression
How can data from PRAMS be used?

Findings from analyses of PRAMS data can be generalized to Utah’s entire population of women whose pregnancies resulted in a live birth. PRAMS data have been used to:

  • Enhance understanding of maternal behaviors and experiences and their relationship to adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Develop and implement new maternal and child health programs and to modify existing programs
  • Inform public health policy
  • Assist health professionals in incorporating the latest research findings into their standards of practice
  • Monitor progress towards local, state, and national health objectives and goals
Data Request Information

 To obtain Utah PRAMS data go to: https://mihp.utah.gov//data-requests and complete the form

Utah PRAMS Surveys

 Phase 8  2016 – present

Phase 7  2012 – 2015

Phase 6  2009 – 2011

Phase 5  2004 – 2008

For additional information…

If you have any questions or would like additional information about PRAMS, please call Barbara Algarin, Utah PRAMS Operations Manager in the Salt Lake metro area at 273-2874 or our toll-free number at 1-800-826-9662.

Or email us at: prams@utah.gov