17-Hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17OHP-C) coverage among eligible women delivering at 2 North Carolina hospitals in 2012 and 2013: A retrospective cohort study

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Although a weekly injection of 17-hydroxyprogestone caproate is recommended for preventing recurrent preterm birth, clinical experience in North Carolina suggested that many eligible patients were not receiving the intervention.


Our study sought to assess how well practices delivering at 2 major hospitals were doing in providing access to 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate treatment for eligible patients.

Study Design:

This retrospective cohort analysis studied all deliveries occurring between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2013, at 2 large hospitals in North Carolina. Women were included if they had a singleton pregnancy and history of a prior spontaneous preterm birth. We extracted demographic, payer, and medical information on each pregnancy, including whether women had been offered, accepted, and received 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate. Our outcome of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate coverage was defined as documentation of ≥1 injection of the drug.


Over the 2-year study period, 1216 women with history of a prior preterm birth delivered at the 2 study hospitals, of which 627 were eligible for 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate eligible after medical record review. Only 296 of the 627 eligible women (47%; 95% confidence interval, 43–51%) received ≥1 dose of the drug. In multivariable analysis, hospital of delivery, later presentation for prenatal care, fewer prenatal visits, later gestation of prior preterm birth, and having had a term delivery immediately before the index pregnancy were all associated with failed coverage. Among those women who were “covered,” the median number of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate injections was 9 (interquartile range, 4–15), with 84 of 296 charts (28%) not having complete information on the number of doses.


Even under our liberal definition of coverage, less than half of eligible women received 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate in this sample. Low overall use suggests that there is opportunity for improvement. Quality improvement strategies, including population-based measurement of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate coverage, are needed to fully implement this evidence-based intervention to decrease preterm birth.

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