|Health Factors:||Access to Care|
|Decision Makers:||Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Public Health Professionals & Advocates|
|Population Reach:||1-9% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
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Mobile reproductive health clinics are medically equipped vans with clinicians that offer reproductive health services, usually to women in low income areas. Services can include pregnancy tests, prenatal and postpartum care, gynecological exams, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings, health education, and referrals to social services. Vans may include a waiting room, private exam areas, an education area, and a laboratory, as well as monitors, diagnostic equipment, and educational materials (O'Connell 2010). Vans sometimes offer screening and referral services for health concerns outside reproductive health (AHRQ HCIE-Bennett).
There is some evidence that mobile reproductive health clinics increase initiation of prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy; improvements have been demonstrated for Hispanic immigrants living in urban areas (O'Connell 2010, Edgerly 2007). However, additional research is needed to confirm effects and determine effects for other populations.
In a Florida-based study, mobile clinic patients appeared more likely to receive adequate prenatal care and less likely to deliver their babies preterm than mothers who did not receive care at such clinics (O'Connell 2010). However, in a California-based study, mothers were equally likely to receive adequate prenatal care through mobile clinics and other clinics (Edgerly 2007). Both interventions primarily served Hispanic immigrants living in urban areas (O'Connell 2010, Edgerly 2007).
A Boston-based clinic which offers screening and referral services for reproductive health and other concerns spent $250,000 to purchase and refit its van; annual operating costs are about $566,000 (AHRQ HCIE-Bennett).
Mobile reproductive health clinics often operate in low income countries (Pearson 2010, Alehagen 2012). Domestic examples include Boston’s Family Van (AHRQ HCIE-Bennett) and New York City’s mobile health vans (CHN-Mobile).
Pearson N. Jacaranda Health: Sustainable maternity clinics in urban slums. Ashoka Changemakers.Accessed on January 14, 2016
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