260777 Exploring infant mortality social determinants of health among young women to inform community change

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nikki Keene Woods, PhD, MPH , Public Health Sciences, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
Amy Chesser, PhD, MA , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Tracy Williams, MD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Introduction Social influences impact behavior, including the health of women before and during pregnancy. Social determinants of health have been identified and are well known, yet comprehensive community solutions to improve health outcomes remain limited. The features of one's environment impact preconception health, although to what extent and how these features interact is less known. Methods Mothers aged 25 years and younger who had lost a child anytime before the age of one year old were invited to participate in a series of focus groups about their loss, preconception health, and community solutions. During focus groups the mothers discussed their own health status and their community including: social support, available resources and barriers. Participants were also asked to create solutions for their own communities (e.g., neighborhoods) and react to several proposed solutions including preventive care via a mobile primary care office. Results The focus groups identified several community resources and services that would increase the likelihood of accessible care and support. Access to primary care (e.g., birth control) was identified as an important need. In addition, those participants who had a strong social network were less likely to report poor health outcomes since the loss of their child. Discussion The findings provided preliminary data to support a comprehensive community solution to the high number of infants that die each year in Sedgwick County Kansas. This formative research grounded in public health theory is one example of providing a voice to those who are often of greatest need.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. List 2-3 community conditions described by young mothers associated with infant mortality. 2. Describe a comprehensive community solution to improve preconception health.

Keywords: Infant Mortality, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-investigator of multiple funded projects related to maternal and infant 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.