The Vermont Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System is designed to improve the health of mothers and their babies. It is a survey of new mothers that asks questions about experiences and behaviors before, during, and shortly after pregnancy. A sample of new mothers is selected each month from the birth file, and stratified by birth weight. The mother is first sent a letter informing her that she will be receiving a survey. The first survey mailing is sent four days later with a cover letter that describes the project. It also includes the informed consent, a question and answer brochure, resource information, return envelope and a small gift as an incentive. A reminder letter is sent two weeks later to non- respondents. A second survey packet is mailed two weeks after the tickler letter, and then a third survey packet after two more weeks. One week after the final mailing, telephone calls are initiated with any mail nonrespondents. Multiple phone calls over five weeks are made in an attempt to reach the mother and persuade her to complete a telephone interview.
The Vermont Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System is a population- based surveillance system that provides state-specific data for improving the health of mothers and their infants. The information from this program is used to identify problems, to develop policies and programs, and to evaluate the effectiveness of these activities.