The future of preconception care

A Clinical Perspective
      The concepts of preconception care (PCC) have been discussed for over 20 years and the standards for PCC have been recently promulgated by the clinical committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Select Panel of Preconception Care. For PCC to be fully realized, however, changes must be made in clinical practice, public health supports, and health coverage. This article discusses 1) the clinical content and delivery of PCC, 2) barriers to why this care does not fit easily into the current clinical paradigm for providing medical care, and 3) how new information technologies within the concept of the medical home might be a promising new way to assist in the diffusion of these concepts.


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      Brian Jack, MD, is Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Jack received his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts, completed his residency training at Brown University and a fellowship in Obstetrics at Sacred Heart University Medical Center in Spokane, Washington.


      Dr. Atrash is Director, Division of Blood Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and developmental Disabilities at the CDC. At the time this supplement was prepared, Dr. Atrash was leading the CDC Preconception Care Program. For over 20 years, his work and research interest have focused on maternal and infant morbidity and mortality and on capacity building in maternal and child health.


      Dr. Bickmore is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. The focus of his research is in the development and evaluation of computer agents that emulate face-to-face interactions between health providers and patients for use in health education and long-term health behavior change interventions, with a particular focus on the emotional and relational aspects of these interactions.


      Kay Johnson serves as the Senior Advisor to the CDC Preconception Health Program. She is a Research Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School and president of Johnson Group Consulting, Inc. She has been a health services researcher, policy advisor, and advocate on maternal and child health issues for the past 25 years.