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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2018

Exploring status and determinants of prenatal and postnatal visits in western China: in the background of the new health system reform

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Xiaojing Fan, Zhongliang Zhou, Shaonong Dang, Yongjian Xu, Jianmin Gao, Zhiying Zhou, Min Su, Dan Wang, Gang Chen
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-017-4601-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
An erratum to this article is available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12889-017-4709-6.



Prenatal and postnatal visits are two effective interventions for protection and promotion of maternal health by reducing maternal mortality and improving the quality of birth. There is limited nationally representative data regarding the changes of prenatal and postnatal visits since the latest health system reform initiated in 2009 in Shaanxi, China. The aim of this study was to explore the current status and determinants of prenatal and postnatal visits in the background of new health system reform.


Data were drawn from two waves of National Health Service Surveys in Shaanxi Province which were conducted prior and post the health system reform in 2008 and 2013, respectively. A concentration index was employed to measure the degree of income-related inequality of maternal health services utilization. Multilevel mix-effects logistic regressions were applied to study the factors associated with prenatal and postnatal visits.


The study sample consists of 2398 women aged 15-49 years old. The data of the 5th National Health Services Survey in 2013 showed in the criterion of the World Health Organization (WHO), the percentage of women receiving ≥4 prenatal visits was 84.79% for urban women and 82.20% for rural women, with women receiving ≥3 postnatal visits were 26.48 and 25.29% for urban and rural women respectively. In the criterion of China’s ≥ 5 prenatal visits the percentages were 72.25% for urban women and 70.33% for rural women; 61.69% of urban women and 71.50% of rural women received ≥1 postnatal visits. As for urban women, the concentration index of postnatal visit utilization was −0.075 (95% CI:-0.148, −0.020) after the health system reform. The determinants related to prenatal and postnatal visits were the change of reform, women’s education, parity and the delivery institution.


This study showed the utilization of prenatal and postnatal visits met the requirement of the WHO, higher than other areas in China and other developing countries after the new health system reform. The new health system reform increased the utilization of postnatal visits in poor urban women and improved the frequency of prenatal and postnatal visits in rural women.
Additional file 1: National Health Service Survey Questionnaire in 2008. (DOCX 41 kb)
Additional file 2: National Health Service Survey Questionnaire in 2013. (DOCX 41 kb
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