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Barriers to Prenatal Care Among Black Women of Low Socioeconomic Status

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Objective: To qualitatively identify attitudinal and psychosocial determinants of early prenatal care among Black women of low socioeconomic status (SES). Methods: Focus group discussions were conducted among Black women who attended community clinics for prenatal care. Results: Early initiators of prenatal care, compared with late initiators, had positive attitudes toward pregnancy, were knowledgeable about pregnancy signs/symptoms, and thought prenatal care was important. All participants indicated strong social support during pregnancy. Late initiators, particularly multiparous women, perceived clinic staff to be insensitive. Conclusions: Findings provide valuable insight into overcoming barriers to early initiation of prenatal care among low SES Black women.

Keywords: Black women; barriers; focus groups; prenatal care; socioeconomic status

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Program for Healthcare Effectiveness Research, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA. 2: Office of Institutional Research and Planning, Georgia Perimeter College, Decatur, GA.

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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