206115 Factors that influence access to pre-natal care by African American Women

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Janet Araba Aikins, PhD, MPH , Bureau of Health Planning and Evaluation, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Pam Patterson, BSN, RN , Neighborhood Services Division, City of Houston, Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Deborah Banerjee, PhD, MS , Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Community Health Statistics, Office of Surveillance & PHP, Houston, TX
Algia Hickenbotham, MEd, RN-BC , Division Manager, Nursing and Health Center Operations, City of Houston, Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Although the infant mortality of the United States continues to decline or remain steady, that of minority populations particularly African Americans remain high. In Houston, Texas while the annual average infant mortality rate was 6.2 per 1,000 live births (1999 to 2003), the Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood targeted in this study had an annual average infant mortality rate of 12.3 per 1,000 live births which was also 2.7X higher than that of the 2010 Healthy People Goal. Lack of or delay in seeking prenatal care is one of the primary factors in prematurity, low birth weight and adverse birth outcomes.

Early 2009, the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) with funding from the March of Dimes conducted semi-structured focus groups with African American women of child-bearing age (17-30 years) in the Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood. The purpose was to understand prenatal and postnatal access to care patterns and personal choices; barriers to care; availability of familial support in this targeted population, and also to find out the barriers that prevent African American women from utilizing HDHHS health center, which is located in Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood. Findings of this study will be used by HDHHS to facilitate strategies for local maternal and child health service providers and program developers to improve birth outcomes in this population.

We will present the recruitment strategies and challenges, group meeting settings, preliminary findings, and lessons learned.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify lesser known reasons why an African American woman may not access prenatal care 2. Formulate strategic plans for encouraging pre-natal care among minority women 3. Discuss strategies to build community collaboration in an effort to link African American women to prenatal services

Keywords: African American, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Health Planning and Evaluation in local health department for 18 years. Posseses Ph.D, MPH
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.