257897 Engaging African American women in group prenatal care

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Elizabeth Riggs, MPH , Chapter Programs, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Julie Solomon, PhD , J. Solomon Consulting, LLC, Mountain View, CA
Sharon Matlock-Mahoney, MSN, CNM , Cook County Health and Hospitals System, Chicago, IL
Diane M. Ashton, MD, MPH , Office of the Medical Director, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Jacqueline Berman, PhD , Program Evaluation, Independent Consultant, Kensington, CA
Judith Gooding , Chapter Programs, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Sharon Schindler Rising, MSN, CNM, FACNM , Centering Healthcare Institute, Inc., Silver Spring, MD
Scott Berns, MD, MPH , Chapter Programs, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Background: Despite progress each year from 2006-2009, 12.2% of U.S. births were preterm (<37 weeks gestation) in 2009. Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death and also can lead to lifelong disabilities. The preterm birth rate for African American women was 17.5%, 60% higher than the rate for white women. CenteringPregnancy (CP) is an innovative, evidence-based model of group prenatal care that has been shown to reduce preterm birth, particularly among African American women. The model integrates health assessment, education, and support. Each pregnancy group meets for ten sessions throughout pregnancy and early postpartum, with the provider completing standard physical health assessments within the group space.

Methods/Approach: With funding from the Aetna Foundation, the March of Dimes and partners are conducting a series of focus groups with pregnant African American women in their third trimester who participate in CP and with the healthcare providers and staff who treat them at four locations nationwide. Patients discuss: their initial feelings about CP, aspects of CP they like most and least, the degree of social support CP provides, challenges in attending CP and how these are addressed. Staff members discuss successful strategies to recruit and retain CP participants, challenges, and areas for improvement. The data are analyzed qualitatively for key themes.

Discussion: Findings from both sets of focus groups facilitate identification of strategies to increase recruitment and retention of African American women in group prenatal care in order to improve birth outcomes and reduce racial disparities in preterm birth.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify three strategies to increase enrollment and retention of African American women in group prenatal care. Describe three elements of group prenatal care that are appealing to African American women. List two common barriers to attending group prenatal care.

Keywords: African American, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Project Director for this grant-funded evaluation. I have 20 years work experience in maternal and child health.
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.