263436 Maternal knowledge of and communication about pelvic health with their adolescent daughters: An exploratory study

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rachel M. O'Conor, MPH , Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Hebert-Beirne, PhD, MPH , Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Background: Pelvic health, conceived as bladder, bowel, uterine, and vaginal health, is important to women of all ages. Common female lifecourse events, including menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, involve pelvic health; however, proper care and wellness for this area is rarely discussed. In designing pelvic health education for adolescents, it is crucial to consider the role maternal figures (MFs) play. Little is known about MFs' pelvic health knowledge nor how this is communicated to their daughters. This study explored knowledge and communication strategies among a group of low income, urban minority MFs. Methods: MFs of students at one urban charter school were recruited to participate. A mixed-methods design was utilized, including written questionnaires and focus groups to assess communication, pelvic health knowledge, and behaviors. The focus groups were analyzed using grounded theory. Results: Three focus groups were held, resulting in a total sample size of 13 women. Findings suggest limited pelvic health knowledge and a desire for increased information. MFs reported the desire to be included in discussions with pediatricians and make decisions together with their daughters regarding pelvic health. Conclusions: MFs are interested in helping prepare their daughters for life course events related to pelvic health. MFs have the unique ability to guide their daughters' health behavior and decisions. In thinking about preparing adolescents for pelvic wellness throughout the lifespan, it is important to consider how best to include MFs as a source of support and knowledge.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Define pelvic health. 2.Discuss ways in which maternal figures are important to the pelvic health and wellness of their daughters. 3.Articulate ways in which maternal figures can be utilized to prepare adolescents for pelvic health and wellness throughout the lifespan.

Keywords: Communication, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator for this student lead research project. Throughout my MPH education I have studied research design and 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.