Abstract for: Social and structural determinants of preterm birth disparities: A systematic review and a framework for variable elicitation

Background: More than a third of infant deaths are due to causes related to preterm birth (PTB). Racial disparities in PTB persist and contribute to infant and adult health disparities. Identifying all the factors that contribute to PTB racial disparities is a complex task; one that calls for system dynamics modeling. Methods: We conducted a systematic literature review of studies on preterm birth and documented the results of the studies included in our review. We used the results to build a preliminary causal loop diagram (CLD). Results: Most of the articles included in the review examined biological or psychosocial determinants of preterm birth. A feedback loop between stress and preterm birth emerged from our preliminary CLD. Conclusion: Preterm birth disparities are a complex and interwoven problem that requires systems thinking.