Project Summary

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

Historical racism in health care has led to high levels of distrust among Black women. Black women also receive lower quality health care and have more difficulty accessing care compared with White women.

In this study, the research team is testing a program called Melanated Group Midwifery Care, or MGMC. The program aims to improve the care that Black women receive before and after giving birth.

Who can this research help?

Results may help clinics and health systems when considering ways to improve care for and engagement among Black women.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is enrolling 432 Black women in their first trimester of pregnancy who are receiving care at the University of Illinois Chicago. The team is assigning women by chance to receive MGMC or usual care.

Women in the MGMC group receive prenatal care in a group setting with 8–12 other Black women with similar due dates. Groups meet 10 times with a Black midwife during pregnancy. They also take part in learning sessions about pregnancy, giving birth, and being a mom. A Black nurse helps women make appointments and provides referrals, connects them to services, and follows up with women after visits. A Black doula conducts visits with each woman in their home before and after they give birth. The doula provides support for the mother, baby, and family for up to one year after birth.

Usual care consists of regular clinic visits with a midwife or doctor for check-ups and counseling. Women receive referrals for other medical or social services as needed.

The research team is surveying and interviewing women and looking at health records to learn:

  • If the women received all their pre- and postnatal visits and if the visits occurred on time.
  • If the women received recommended medical tests during pregnancy.
  • How active of a role the women took in their health care.
  • How much decision-making power the women had in their healthcare decisions.
  • How much the women trusted their doctors.
  • How satisfied the women were with their care.
  • About the women’s mental health.
  • If the women felt respected by providers, such as doctors and midwives.

The research team is interviewing women who have complications during or after pregnancy to understand their experiences with care. The team is also interviewing some women from the MGMC group and all MGMC doctors about their experience with the program.

Black mothers, doctors, health insurers, and policy makers are helping to plan and conduct this study.

Research methods at a glance

Design Element Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population 432 Black women ages 15–49 who are in their first trimester of pregnancy and receiving care at University of Illinois Chicago
  • MGMC
  • Usual care

Primary: patient engagement (appropriate number and timing of pre- and postnatal visits, completion of key medical tests during pregnancy)

Secondary: patient activation, patient autonomy, patient trust, patient satisfaction, mental well-being, perceived respect from providers, referrals for wraparound services

Timeframe Timeframe Length of follow-up for collecting data on primary outcomes. View Glossary Up to 1 year follow-up for primary outcome

*Patient-Centered Economic Outcomes Funding Supplement 
This study received supplemental funding to build on existing PCORI-funded comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies to improve the understanding of appropriate costs and other economic burdens that are meaningful and inclusive to patients, caregivers and other stakeholders.

Project Information

Kylea Liese, PhD, CNM
Stacie Geller, PhD, MPA
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Black Midwives for Black Women: Maternity Care to Improve Trust and Attenuate Structural Racism

Key Dates

July 2021
December 2027

Study Registration Information


Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: October 18, 2023