249228 African-American and Latina Women's Cultural Beliefs regarding Pregnancy, including Medication-taking Behavior

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 5:30 PM

Luz Dalia Sanchez, MD, MHA, MCP, Ph D , College of Pharmacy/ Pharmacy Department, Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ
Joie Rowles, PhD , Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ
David Dube, MPH, RD, CHES , Division of Community Health, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Glendale, AZ
Background: Various factors may contribute to negative birth outcomes such as, the use of medications during pregnancy; and the mother's stress level in low-income population. Objective: to describe cultural beliefs and medication-taking-behavior during pregnancy (from preconception to postpartum) in African-American and Latina women. Methods: qualitative study using phenomenological methodology. Thematic analysis was done to obtain themes consistent with the research objective. Participants: minority women seeking public-health services in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. Intervention: face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Results: fifteen adult women representing two ethnic groups (seven African-Americans and eight Latinas) participated. Themes derived from the interview data included: “The Dilemma: To Become or Not to Become Pregnant;” “The Ideal Stress-free World: Support System;” “Changing Worlds: Wanting Dependency;” and “The Health care System: Disconnection from Pregnancy to Postpartum.” Conclusions: four main conclusions were identified based on the cultural themes: 1.) pregnancies were not planned; 2). healthy life-style changes were not likely to occur during pregnancy; 3.) basic facts about the biology of sexual intercourse and pregnancy were not understood, and there was no usage of any preconceptional or prenatal medications; 4.) professional health care was not desired or considered necessary (except during delivery). These behaviors can contribute to negative birth outcomes, and need to be considered by health-care providers. The information gained from this study can guide the implementation of educational programs that are more sensitive to the cultural beliefs and points of view of these particular women. Such programs would thus be more likely to be favorably received and utilized.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To describe at least three different cultural beliefs in African American and Latina women regarding pregnancy that impacts their behavior. To explain at least two cultural differences among African American and Latina women during pregnancy.

Keywords: Public Health Research, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to give this presentation on this material because I have been working with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health – Division of Community Health in the last 5 years. I have worked within the Pregnancy Connection Program that serves pregnant women specially Latinas and the South Phoenix Healthy Start Clinic that serves pregnant women particularly African- American and Latina.
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.