What Has Geography Got to Do with It? Using GWR to Explore Place-Specific Associations with Prenatal Care Utilization

Carla Shoff, Pennsylvania State University
Tse-Chuan Yang, Pennsylvania State University
Stephen A. Matthews, Pennsylvania State University

We use a geographically weighted regression (GWR) approach to examine how the relationships between a set of predictors and prenatal care vary across the US. At its most fundamental, GWR is valuable because it facilitates the identification of areas most in need of increasing the percent of women who use prenatal care services on time and in addition which predictors are associated with prenatal care at specific locations. The output from GWR is a set of statistics that can be mapped and tested, depicting the spatial variation of a relationship. From GWR output, maps can be created of the local R-square, local estimated regression coefficients, and local t-statistics. Our work complements existing prenatal care research in providing an ecological, place-sensitive analysis. GWR offers a more nuanced examination of prenatal care and provides empirical evidence in support of locally tailored health policy formation and program implementation, which may improve program effectiveness.

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Presented in Poster Session 7