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The resource mothers program: how community health workers can reduce low-birth weight among African-American clients in WIC programs

by Bouye, Karen H.

Abstract (Summary)
In order to help reduce low-birth weight among infants born to African-American women, public health advocates and officials must investigate innovative public health strategies that target these groups of people. Resource mother/lay health advisor type interventions may be a source for reducing low-birth weight among African- Americans. This study aimed to investigate whether and how the Resource Mothers Program reduced low- birth weight among low-income African- American women by comparing women in the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The study used both qualitative and quantitative research. This study used the following risk factors for reducing low-birth weight among African- American infants: (1) access to and quality of prenatal care; (2) prenatal smoking, drinking, and substance abuse; (3) pregnancies among adolescent mothers and women age 35 years and over; (4) nutritional status; and (5) social support. The two groups studied were women at the Southside Medical Center WIC Clinic (mothers exposed to the Resource Mothers Program) and the Grady Memorial Hospital WIC Clinic (mothers unexposed to the Resource Mothers Program). The quantitative analyses showed that in most categories women at Southside had lower rates of low (or very low) birth weight, than those at Grady. Logistic Regression Model 1, found that mothers at Southside were one-third (OR = .34; 95% CI = 0.16, 0.73) as likely as those at Grady to have a low-birth weight infant. The qualitative analyses showed that nutritional education and social support were the foundations of the Resource Mothers Program. Clients improved their nutritional habits and depended on the resource mothers for social support. Both clients and resource mothers agreed that the program worked, and was an asset to the community. For two reasons, the data supported that the Resource Mothers Program worked. First, after controlling for possible confounders in the logistic regression analyses, the rate of low-birth weight for infants was found to be significantly lower at the Southside Medical Center WIC Clinic. Secondly, the resource mothers and clients agreed that the Resource Mothers Program did work.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:low birth weight resource mothers wic programs social support nutrition

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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