Women from racial or ethnic minority and low socioeconomic backgrounds receive more prenatal education: Results from the 2012 to 2014 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System


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Abstract

Background:Racial or ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in adverse birth outcomes are well known, but few studies have examined disparities in the receipt of prenatal health education. The objectives of this study were to examine racial or ethnic and socioeconomic variations in receiving (1) comprehensive prenatal health education and (2) education about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, breastfeeding, alcohol, and smoking cessation from health care practitioners.Methods:Data were drawn from the 2012 to 2014 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). Twenty-seven states were included with an analysis sample size of 68 025 participants. Receiving counseling on all listed health topics during prenatal care visits was denoted as comprehensive prenatal health education. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of racial or ethnic and socioeconomic variables with receiving comprehensive prenatal health education, and HIV testing, breastfeeding, alcohol, and smoking cessation advice separately.Results:Multivariable results showed that racial or ethnic minorities and women with a high school degree or less; receiving Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) assistance; and on Medicaid during pregnancy have higher odds of receiving comprehensive prenatal health education (all P ≤0 .001). Results were similar for receiving HIV testing, breastfeeding, alcohol, and smoking counseling. Low household income was associated with receiving counseling on HIV testing, alcohol, and smoking (all P ≤ 0.001).Conclusion:Despite reporting higher levels of prenatal health education on a variety of health-related topics, disadvantaged women continue to experience disparities in adverse birth outcomes suggesting that education is insufficient in promoting positive behaviors and birth outcomes.

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