197062 Understanding traditional Hmong prenatal health care beliefs, practices, utilization and needs

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:30 PM

Marlene Bengiamin, PhD , Central Valley Health Policy Institute, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA
John A. Capitman, PhD , California State University-Fresno, Central Valley Health Policy Institute, Fresno, CA
Xi Chang, BS , California State University-Fresno, Central Valley Health Policy Institute, Fresno, CA
Mathilda B. Ruwe, MD, MPH, PhD , California State University, Fresno, Central Valley Health Policy Institute, Fresno, CA
Purpose: Recent research on prenatal care indicates that the Southeast Asians, especially Hmong underutilize health and prenatal care. Lack of data on Hmong Health care practices have been documented by the Hmong Health Collaborative (HHC). The purpose of this project is to understand Hmong health and prenatal care practices. Primary data on the prenatal health care beliefs, practices, utilization, and needs of the Hmong men and women from three of the highest Hmong populated counties in Central California were collected and analyzed. The HHC will use the findings to reach out and educate the Hmong community and western providers.

Methods: Respondents were recruited through the HHC partnering organizations by word of mouth and snowball sampling methodologies. The sample included 100 Hmong women of child bearing age (18-35) and 73 Hmong men of child bearing age (18-45).

Findings: Hmong residents use both Western and traditional medicines due to lack of full trust in western medicine. Respondents reported using over the counter pregnancy tests and more than half (52%) sought prenatal care sixth weeks after confirming pregnancy. About 60 percent report disconnect between western and Hmong medicine.

Conclusion: Hmong residents utilize western health care, yet they cannot abandon their cultural and traditional health care practices due to new cultural setting. By providing evidence-based data on Hmong health and prenatal care, such organizations like the HHC can further advance their efforts in bridging the gap between the differences of Hmong traditional health care practices and western medicine.

Learning Objectives:
Identify health perceptions and behaviors toward traditional, cultural and Western health care. List recommendations for health care practitioners to use when providing service to the Hmong community.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Science and am currently completing my graduate study in the Master of Public Health Program at CSU Fresno. I have 2 years of extensive research on health policy and community health, with emphasis on Central Valley immigrant and refugee health and status. Also, I served as a community boardmember for one of the local community health center and chaired the Quality Committee. Recently in 2008, I co-authored a publication entitled Healthy People 2010: A 2007 profile of health status in the San Joaquin Valley.
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.