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Mobile reproductive health clinics

Health Factors: Access to Care
Decision Makers: Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Some Evidence
Population Reach: 1-9% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

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).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Improved prenatal care
Reduced preterm birth

Evidence of Effectiveness

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).

Implementation

United States

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).

Citations - Description

AHRQ HCIE-Bennett - Bennett J. Mobile clinic delivers culturally competent services to underserved neighborhoods, leading to identification of untreated chronic conditions, better blood pressure control, and significant return on investment. Rockville: AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange. Accessed on January 26, 2016
O'Connell 2010* - O’Connell E, Zhang G, Leguen F, Prince J. Impact of a mobile van on prenatal care utilization and birth outcomes in Miami-Dade County. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2010;14(4):528-34. Accessed on January 12, 2016

Citations - Evidence

AHRQ HCIE-Bennett - Bennett J. Mobile clinic delivers culturally competent services to underserved neighborhoods, leading to identification of untreated chronic conditions, better blood pressure control, and significant return on investment. Rockville: AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange. Accessed on January 26, 2016
Edgerly 2007* - Edgerley LP, El-Sayed YY, Druzin ML, Kiernan M, Daniels KI. Use of a community mobile health van to increase early access to prenatal care. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2007;11(3):235-9. Accessed on December 15, 2015
O'Connell 2010* - O’Connell E, Zhang G, Leguen F, Prince J. Impact of a mobile van on prenatal care utilization and birth outcomes in Miami-Dade County. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2010;14(4):528-34. Accessed on January 12, 2016

Citations - Implementation

AHRQ HCIE-Bennett - Bennett J. Mobile clinic delivers culturally competent services to underserved neighborhoods, leading to identification of untreated chronic conditions, better blood pressure control, and significant return on investment. Rockville: AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange. Accessed on January 26, 2016
Alehagen 2012 - Alehagen SA, Finnström O, Hermansson GV, et al. Nurse-based antenatal and child health care in rural India, implementation and effects - an Indian-Swedish collaboration. Rural and Remote Health. 2012;12:2140. Accessed on December 22, 2015
CHN-Mobile - Community Healthcare Network. About our medical mobile van. Accessed on February 2, 2016
Pearson 2010 -

Pearson N. Jacaranda Health: Sustainable maternity clinics in urban slums. Ashoka Changemakers.

Accessed on January 14, 2016

Page Last Updated

July 7, 2014

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