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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 719104, 10 pages
Research Article

Methodological Issues on Planning and Running the Brazilian Multicenter Study on Preterm Birth

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, 13083-881 Campinas, SP, Brazil
2Center for Studies in Reproductive Health of Campinas (CEMICAMP), 13083-881 Campinas, SP, Brazil
3University of Campinas, 13083-881 Campinas, SP, Brazil

Received 2 September 2014; Accepted 8 January 2015

Academic Editor: Emmanouil Karteris

Copyright © 2015 Giuliane J. Lajos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Assuming that the occurrence of preterm births and their maternal and neonatal associated conditions in Brazil are not completely known, a multicenter study was proposed. The purpose of this paper is to describe the methods used, its processes, achievements, and challenges. Study Design. A multicenter cross-sectional study on preterm births in Brazilian facilities plus a nested case-control study to assess their associated factors. A description of all steps of planning and implementing such a nationwide study, including strategies for dealing with problems arising during the process, is presented. Results. 20 referral hospitals in different regions of Brazil participated in the study. A detailed questionnaire for data collection, an electronic platform for data transcription and monitoring, research materials, and specific monitoring tools were developed; then data management and analyses were performed. Finally, we got information on 4,150 preterm births and 1,146 term births. Conclusions. This study represented the first step of a planned comprehensive assessment of preterm birth in Brazil, with detailed information that will lead to several analyses and further studies, bringing the knowledge to improve screening, diagnosis, and treatment practices in maternal and perinatal health with the final purpose of reducing the burden of this condition in the country.