262159 Using health education community baby showers to bridge disparities in knowledge of perinatal health factors

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Amishi Shah, MD, MSc , Department of Pediatrics, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY
Cheryl Hunter-Grant, LMSW , New York Medical College, Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network, Valhalla, NY
Heather Brumberg, MD, MPH, FAAP , Regional Perinatal Center, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center/NY Medical College, Valhalla, NY
Background: Perinatal factors including gestational age (GA), delivery mode, and breastfeeding impact both mothers and newborns. There is little information regarding awareness of these factors among pregnant women and the efficacy of health education community baby showers (HECBS) to increase knowledge about these issues.

Methods: Pre- and post-tests were completed by women who attended HECBS sessions to collect baseline knowledge and to measure the effectiveness of the education.

Results: 263 women attended 11 different HECBS where 62% were Hispanic. Prior to the education session, nearly 30% of participants did not know the correct definition of term GA and 59% were unaware that it was not a good idea to schedule delivery at 35-36 weeks. Only 66% of the women knew that cesarean deliveries were not safer than vaginal deliveries. There were significant ethnic disparities in both pre- and post-test scores. Hispanic women had lower baseline knowledge than non-Hispanics (p=0.04) and despite substantial gains in scores, had lower post-test scores (p=0.001). Only 69% of Hispanic women recognized that BM and formula do not have the same nutritional value as opposed to 84% of non-Hispanics (p=0.005). After the educational sessions, this increased to 82% of Hispanic women (p=0.002). There were no significant differences in knowledge gains comparing the teaching styles, level of schooling, or whether participants had prior children.

Conclusions: HECBS are unique and effective means of increasing awareness in pregnant women regarding perinatal health factors and can bridge disparities in the knowledge of these factors among different ethnicities.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate health education community baby showers as an educational tool for pregnant women addressing key perinatal health factors: breastfeeding, delivery mode and gestational age.

Keywords: Health Education Strategies, Perinatal Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College and have a focus on public health activities including perinatal health, community advocacy and epidemiology.
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.