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Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

What is PRAMS?

The PRAMS survey is sent to new mothers asking questions about the care they received, and their experiences, and behaviors around the time of their most recent pregnancy.  PA PRAMS stands for Pennsylvania Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, which is a joint research project between the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Using information from completed PRAMS surveys, we can learn more about how to improve the health of future mothers, pregnant people, and babies in Pennsylvania which is the primary goal of the PRAMS project.

Pennsylvania entered into a cooperative agreement with the CDC in April 2006 and began conducting surveys in June 2007.  Forty-seven states, New York City, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia currently participate in PRAMS, representing approximately 83% of all U.S. live births.   To read about the overarching, multi-state CDC PRAMS research study and successful projects using PRAMS data follow this link:   https://www.cdc.gov/prams/index.htm

How are individuals chosen to participate in PRAMS?

Names are selected randomly from the state birth certificate registry.  About 1,800 individuals are chosen each year to participate in the study. Surveys are sent out on a monthly basis.  If you receive a PRAMS survey in the mail, please fill out the survey, and return it in the postage-paid envelope. 

Pennsylvania PRAMS Surveys:

English  
Phase 8 (2016-present)                

Spanish
Phase 8 (2016-present)                 

Use of PRAMS Information and Confidentiality

PRAMS data will be used to assess perinatal health, pregnancy programs, and aid in the development of new programs and policies designed to improve maternal and child health outcomes, especially for people experiencing high-risk pregnancies. Answers given on the questionnaires are grouped together to provide us with information about pregnancy, birth, and the period after birth across Pennsylvania. All answers are kept private and no responses can be traced back to the mothers who completed the survey.

Researchers and Requesting PRAMS Data

PRAMS provides data not available from other sources.  PRAMS data are used by researchers to investigate emerging issues in the field of reproductive health and by state and local governments to plan and review programs and policies aimed at reducing health problems among mothers and babies.   Supplemental questions are added for select birth years, for example, related to marijuana and prescription drugs, opioids, postpartum assessment, and COVID-19.  Core survey questions relate to:

  • Attitudes and feelings about the most recent pregnancy
  • Preconception care
  • Prenatal care and vitamins
  • Medicaid and WIC participation
  • Breastfeeding
  • Use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Safety
  • Infant health care and sleep
  • Oral, physical, and mental health
  • Contraceptive use

The demographic and survey question data resulting from the PA PRAMS project provide a unique opportunity to understand and evaluate preconception and postpartum behaviors, attitudes, and experiences among a representative sample of mothers in Pennsylvania for birth years 2007 to present.

Anyone with interest in Pennsylvania PRAMS data to assist in research, education, program development or program evaluation, may request by following these instructions in the Pennsylvania PRAMS Data Request Process and using the following form: Pennsylvania PRAMS Aggregate Data Request Form

The PA PRAMS Coordinator will confirm receipt of all requests within five business days.

Researchers who would like to view the code books or request multi-state data or learn more about the CDC PRAMS project, methodology, or special projects such as the Opioid or Zika Supplements may find this information and the CDC proposal submission process at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/prams/prams-data/researchers.htm

Pennsylvania PRAMS Reports

Pennsylvania Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System: Phase 7 Descriptive Analysis Report

Questions About PRAMS?

If you have any questions, you may contact the Pennsylvania PRAMS Coordinator at: 717-346-3000 or paprams@pa.gov.

Phone Numbers to Call for Help:

  • 1-800-986-BABY for information on finding a doctor, getting healthcare coverage, immunizations, tests for baby, breastfeeding.
  • 1-877-724-3258 for information on a variety of adult, child and newborn health issues.     
  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW for information on smoking cessation services available to Pennsylvania residents.
  • 1-800-WIC-WINS to obtain supplemental foods, nutrition education and breast feeding information.
  • 1-800-986-4550 for information on services available for children with special needs.
  • 1-800-4-A-CHILD 24-hour crisis hotline to offer support, information and referrals on coping with a crying baby and preventing child abuse. 
  • 2-1-1 or www.pa211.org for information related to food, housing, employment, health care, and other services.
  • 1-800-662-HELP (4357) / https://apps.ddap.pa.gov/gethelpnow or contact your local county drug and alcohol office for help finding a drug/alcohol addiction treatment provider or funding for treatment.