267704 Exploring new categories of pregnancy intention in African-American women: Triangulation of qualitative and Q Methodology data

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lora Oswald, MPH , Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Nadine Peacock, PhD , Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Alan Schwartz, PhD , Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Kenya McRae, PhD, MPH , Health Policy and Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Background: Though half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended (mistimed or unwanted) at the time of conception, existing measures may not adequately reflect the nuances and complexities of reproductive desires and intentions. Q Methodology is a promising method for systematically characterizing such subjective viewpoints. It is rare however for Q-sort data to be validated against narrative interview data. We sought to determine whether narratives of women grouped together based on their Q-sort responses reflect the themes of those systematically-derived viewpoints. Methods: 143 low-income, 15-25 year old African-American women participated in a longitudinal study in which they completed a Q-sort task and a semi-structured interview. A subsample of 26 women were selected for this analysis based on having a “defining sort” (i.e. significant loading on only one viewpoint) and no pregnancies during the study. We qualitatively assessed cohesiveness of narrative themes within groups, and consistency of those themes with Q-sort viewpoints. Results: Respondents who shared a Q-sort viewpoint that emphasized family influences and emotional impacts of pregnancy showed the most consistency in their narrative data. Two additional viewpoints, one emphasizing perceived positive partner attitudes and one characterized by a strong sense of reproductive control, had some themes consistent with and others not consistent with their respective Q-sort viewpoints. Conclusion: Q Methodology is a promising method for defining new categories of pregnancy intentions and desires. Attention to inconsistencies in viewpoints about future pregnancy derived from Q-sort and narrative data allows us to further highlight understudied nuances of pregnancy intention.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how Q Methodology can be used to group women with similar viewpoints about future pregnancy. Describe how qualitative data can be used to validate categories derived from Q Methodology

Keywords: Family Planning, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal investigator on several funded projects investigating the measurement and socio-cultural context of intended and unintended pregnancies in U.S. women. I involved professionally with a number or organizations focused on family planning issues, including the Guttmacher Institute and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies.
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.

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