266256 Health Information Needs of Mothers with Physical Disabilities

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:35 AM - 8:53 AM

Linda Long-Bellil, PhD, JD , Disability, Health and Employment Policy Group, Center for Health Policy & Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Shrewsbury, MA
Mary Mason, PhD , Women's Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
In addition to surviving and thriving more than ever before, more women with physical disabilities are assuming typical social roles, including those of mother. Yet thriving as a mother with a disability often means dealing with systems that are unfamiliar with one's needs and which provide little information about how to manage the process of bearing and raising a child as a woman with a disability. Using semi-structured qualitative interviews with 26 women with physical disabilities, we explored women's own understanding of pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing and their need for information. We found substantial variation in the amount of knowledge with which women entered pregnancy. Some women, largely because of their own research, were in a position to educate their health care providers about their medical conditions and what they could expect during pregnancy. Others had very little knowledge about what to expect and went through the entire childbirth process and into childrearing with very little knowledge of what would be required along the way. This presentation will describe the level and sources of knowledge among mothers with physical disabilities regarding pregnancy and childbirth and the implications for health care and public health, including health education.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the information needs of mothers with physical disabilities regarding childbirth and childrearing. Discuss the public health and health education implication of the information needs of mothers with physical disabilities.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in the conduct of the research which is the topic that is the subject of the presentation and have experience in other disability-related research.
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.