195474 A Multidimensional Approach to Pregnancy Intention

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:35 AM

Pamela Maxson, PhD , Children's Environmental Health Initiative, Duke University, Durham, NC
Marie Lynn Miranda, PhD , Children's Environmental Health Initiative, Duke University, Durham, NC
Pregnancy intention has been linked to poor pregnancy outcomes. Intention has been assessed in varying ways during and after pregnancy. High rates of unintended pregnancy, 49% (Freer & Henshaw, 2006) to 65% (Custer, Waller, Vernon, & O'Rourke, 2008) highlight the importance of understanding intention in order to improve pregnancy outcomes. We explore the multiple dimensions of pregnancy intention and their impacts on pregnancy outcomes. In addition, we explore how intention relates to risky behaviors such as STDs and substance use. At this time, 1169 pregnant women (812 NHB, 229 NHW, 100 H, and 45 Asian) have been recruited from Duke University Medical Center and Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, NC, into an observational prospective pregnancy cohort study. Intention status and psychosocial correlates were obtained through prenatal surveys; electronic medical records were utilized to obtain pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy intention was assessed with a general question about timing and desire for the pregnancy and six questions regarding specific dimensions of intention. Intention and its dimensions were significantly associated with risky behaviors, depression, perceived stress, social support, and personality measures. Pregnancy intention was related to gestational age at birth. Unintended pregnancy was associated with a negative constellation of psychosocial indices and risky behaviors. Considering the multiple dimensions of pregnancy intention offers clearer understanding of how intention relates to both psychosocial health and pregnancy outcomes. This in turn provides an opportunity to design and implement better public health interventions related to psychosocial health, preconception planning, and prenatal care.

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the multiple dimensions of pregnancy intention. Demonstrate the relationship between pregnancy intention, psychosocial health, and pregnancy outcomes. Identify strategies for successfully recruiting and retaining low and moderate income, predominantly minority women into clinical obstetrics research projects.

Keywords: Pregnancy Outcomes, Maternal Well-Being

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Research Director for the Children's Environmental Health Initiative. I have a Ph.D. in Human Development and have worked for three years on this research study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.