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PRAMS – Data Collection

PRAMS Methodology

North Carolina PRAMS samples about 1,700 new mothers each year. This sample is drawn two to three months after the infants' date of birth. Women whose infant died after birth are included. Mothers’ names are picked by a computer from recent birth certificates. Participation in PRAMS is voluntary. Mailed questionnaires are the primary mode of response. Telephone interviewers call mothers who do not respond by mail.
The sampling excludes the following birth certificates:

  1. out-of-state births to residents
  2. in-state births to non-residents
  3. birth certificates missing the mother's last name
  4. multiple gestations of 4 or more siblings
  5. births to mothers 12 years old and younger

This monthly sample is stratified by birth weight so that a disproportionate number of women who had low birth weight babies are selected. Since 91% of births in 2012 were of normal birth weight, this assures that adequate information will be gathered about the low birth weight babies. Otherwise, there would be no way to assure representation of these women.

PRAMS Methodology External link

Data Analysis

All findings reported from PRAMS are from a weighted data file. Since the stratified sample includes more women who had low birth weight babies, the weights make the data representative of the entire population. Key factors of each respondent such as maternal age, race, education, marital status, trimester of first prenatal care visit and parity are used to assure that the data represent all live births in North Carolina.

Note: SCHS deals with statistical data on health and vital statistics of North Carolinians. We do NOT provide information or advice on medical diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis. Please refer such questions to your medical practitioner.