206383 Shape Up!: A pilot program in health promotion for teen mothers

Monday, November 9, 2009

Erin Elizabeth Suelmann, BA , College of Public Health, University of Arizona College of Public Health, Tucson, AZ
This abstract describes the presenter's research and experience in developing a pilot program for a Tucson, Arizona based non-profit organization. This pilot was designed to promote healthy behaviors, greater self-efficacy, and reduced stress among adolescent mothers. Social support, physical activity and good nutrition have been shown to improve physical, mental and emotional health during all stages of life. This data is extremely important in the case of adolescent mothers because these young women may not be as emotionally or mentally prepared to take on motherhood, may feel more depressive symptoms, have less positive health role models, and may have less psychosocial resources than women who delay childbearing. The program involved recruitment of 12 post-partum mothers between the ages of 15 and 21, facilitation of an eight-week walking group, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and participant and data-based evaluation of the program. Anthropometric data collected included BMI, blood pressure, and heart rate variability. I developed a short nutrition and physical activity survey based on the USDA's 1996 Diet and Health Knowledge Questionnaire in order to assess participants' knowledge, behaviors and attitude about nutrition. Additionally, I used the Rosenberg self-efficacy scale and the Edinburgh post-partum depression scale to explore participants' mental and emotional well-being. Preliminary results suggest that light physical activity and social support help post-partum mothers lose weight, lower their blood pressure, obtain greater heart rate coherence (a marker for stress), and increase self-efficacy. This pilot also has important implications for the design of a health promotion program for teen mothers.

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify the assets and barriers that exist for adolescent mothers in practicing healthy nutrition and physical activity 2.Design a health promotion program for post-partum teen mothers and their children 3.Evaluate a health promotion program for post-partum teen mothers using qualitative and quantitative data

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the person responsible for all aspects of the study, from the design to the facilitation, data collection and data analysis.
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.