Online Program

Pregnant Women's Worries Living in a Post-disaster Community

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Gloria Giarratano, APRN, CNS, PhD, School of Nursing, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
Jane Savage, RN, PhD, CNE, LCCE, FACCE, Nursing, Loyola Unviversity of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Emily W. Harville, PhD, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Dept of Epidemiology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Veronica Barcelona de Mendoza, MSN, MPH, RN, APHN-BC, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Background/Purpose: The stress from long term disaster recovery impacts the health of a community. Populations such as pregnant women are especially vulnerable since psychosocial stress is associated with negative perinatal outcomes, such as PTB and maternal mental health problems.  The purpose of this study was to describe pregnant women’s mental health status, psychosocial concerns and worries while living in communities that were affected by Hurricane Katrina between five and seven years prior.

Methods: Women (n=402) were interviewed in pregnancy between 24-40 weeks gestation for this cross-sectional study. Measures analyzed included depression (Edinburgh Depression Scale), post-traumatic stress disorder (Post-traumatic Checklist), pregnancy-related distress (Lobel scale), and their perception of disaster recovery. Linear regression was used to model mental health outcomes, with adjustment for race, marital status, education, employment, age, and smoking.  Descriptive statistics and content analysis were conducted to determine common sources of stress indicated from open-ended questions.

Results/Outcomes: Women in this study were predominantly African-American, unemployed, and low income. Participants reported life to be still somewhat to very disrupted (35%). Depression was the most common mental health problem, with women scoring “at risk” (52.9%) and “likely” (30.7%) depressed. Common stressful experiences in the past year included: moving to new address (46.5%), close family member hospitalized (49.4%) or died (31.9%), partner or self were unemployed (47.6),  arguing more with partner (31.8) incarnation of partner or self (12.8 %), immigration/separated from children (4.8%).         

Conclusion: Identifying women’s sources of stress helps communities to better plan disaster response that supports unique needs of childbearing families.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss psychosocial concerns and worries common to pregnant women living in a post-disaster community.

Keyword(s): Disasters, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI of the NIH funded study associated with the presentation topic; I am an advanced practice obstetrical nurse, faculty, and researcher. This is the third disaster related study I have conducted with a focus on perinatal care. I served as co-chair of the perinatal care disaster task force for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetrical, and Neonatal Nurses who established standards for nursing care of women and newborns after disaster.
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.