This presentation to the 1991 Berzelius Symposium, Stockholm, Sweden, explores the issue of maternal risk—the probability or chance of dying or being seriously injured in pregnancy—as it is used in maternal health care. This concept of risk has been a useful tool for research and medical and epidemiological education, but its use as a tool for service delivery design has been more problematic. In order to construct a risk system, one has to have reliable data on the relationships between individual characteristics and the outcome being studied—something that is difficult to develop with regard to maternal health. Furthermore the system must be easily taught to those who will use it. Finally, there are psychological issues related to being labeled a “high-risk” individual. The presentation proposes a change in vocabulary and perception, from managing risks to identifying problems that can be solved and thus help more women.
Winikoff, Beverly. 1991. "Maternal risk," Robert H. Ebert Program on Critical Issues in Reproductive Health Publication Series. New York: Population Council.
Robert H. Ebert Program on Critical Issues in Reproductive Health