Statistics in Medicine

A multistage model for maternal morbidity during antenatal, delivery and postpartum periods

Journal Article


There is acute dearth of information regarding factors affecting complications during different stages of childbearing in Bangladesh. This study employs a multistage model that involves transitions at different stages to complications. The proposed model appears to display more meaningful explanation concerning the impact of different factors on the incidence of complications taking into account types of transitions. Two alternative models are also presented in this paper in order to demonstrate possible simplifications of the proposed model. This study uses data from a prospective survey on Maternal Morbidity in Bangladesh. The survey was conducted during the period 11 1992–12 1993. A total of 1020 pregnant women were followed during pregnancy, delivery and 90 days after delivery. This study reveals some very important findings regarding the potential impact of antenatal visits, economic status, whether the index pregnancy was desired or not and number of pregnancies prior to the index pregnancy. It is observed that slightly more than 50 per cent of the women suffer from at least one of the major complications (haemorrhage, excessive vomiting, oedema and fits/convulsion) during pregnancy. It is noteworthy that if a woman suffers from one or more of the major complications during pregnancy, then it is more likely that she will suffer from complications during delivery. This study reveals that the women who suffer from one or more of the major complications during pregnancy are expected to have a substantially higher risk of suffering from complications during postpartum period, irrespective of no complications or complications during delivery. Generally speaking, higher economic status can reduce the complications at the postpartum stage, although women belonging to higher economic status may suffer from complications during pregnancy and delivery at a higher rate. It is surprising that antenatal visit is positively associated with incidence of complications during pregnancy and delivery, but antenatal visit reduces complications at the postpartum stage. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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