Addressing Health Concerns of Pregnant African American Women Using the Lens of Complexity Theory

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Pregnant African American women are at higher risk for multiple complex health issues, including depression, than their European American counterparts (Canady, Bullen, Holzman, Broman, & Tian, 2008; Martin et al, 2011; Mathews & MacDorman, 2007; Orr, Blazer, & James, 2006; Segre, Losch, & O’Hara, 2006). Various strategies must be used to address depression through preventive care and promotion of access to appropriate mental health services. Nurses and other health care providers need to examine the relationships between the multifactorial problems to improve the health and well-being of pregnant African American women and their unborn children. This article presents a case study demonstrating the use of complexity science theory to understand and prevent poor health outcomes for pregnant African American women with depression and their unborn children.

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