A study of three City of Houston Local Area 26 (LA 26) WIC offices to uncover any challenges or barriers that may impact WIC enrollment and retention

Marlisa Stewart Allen, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

This research sought to uncover any challenges or barriers current WIC participants face in accessing WIC services in three City of Houston Local Area 26 (LA 26) WIC clinics. Three hundred questionnaires (one hundred questionnaires at each WIC location - fifty questionnaires in English and fifty questionnaires in Spanish) were administered to participants in each of the WIC clinics over a three week data collection period in the spring of 2014. A total of two hundred and eighty one questionnaires were returned with two hundred and fifty five fully completed. ^ The questionnaires captured data elements regarding challenges or barriers to WIC delivery and service access. Quantitative data were analyzed in STATA statistical software then the findings were aggregated and reported at the site level. Descriptive statistics revealed that Hispanics made up 74 % of all the WIC participants surveyed. WIC participants' ages ranged from 16-45 years; with an average age of 27 years old. Of all the women who answered the questionnaire, 14% were breastfeeding and18% were pregnant. Participants were enrolled from 1990 to 2014 with 81% of the participants surveyed enrolled in the last seven years. The participants heard about WIC from various sources: 41% heard about WIC from a family member, 16% from a friend and 12% heard from a health care provider. The majority of the women surveyed (55%) had one child enrolled in WIC while 23% had at least two children enrolled in the WIC program. ^ The open-ended questions revealed participants use only what they need for themselves and their children and then leave the system typically after their child reached the age of two years old. Barriers and challenges to enrollment and retention were found to be the time spent waiting for appointments and/or nutrition classes, time spent filling out paperwork and issues with transportation to get to WIC sites. These all emerged as deterrents to utilizing WIC services among participants in these clinics.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health

Recommended Citation

Allen, Marlisa Stewart, "A study of three City of Houston Local Area 26 (LA 26) WIC offices to uncover any challenges or barriers that may impact WIC enrollment and retention" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3689746.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI3689746

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