Prenatal care programs in a clinic based center in El Paso, Texas: Evaluating outcomes among Hispanic women

Suchitra Barge, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Early prenatal care has been found to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes by reducing the risk of low birth weight and preterm births. Statistics point to lower utilization rates of prenatal care in El Paso, Texas and increasing rates of low birth weight. This study was a secondary data analysis, which explored the perceived benefits and barriers known to influence the utilization of prenatal care, and the birth outcomes among participating subjects attending three different prenatal care programs offered at the Centro San Vincent Clinic during the period of December 2006 to February 2008. A survey was used to collect data on demographics and assess perceived benefits and barriers regarding early prenatal care and self-efficacy of the participants. Post-partum birth records were used to gather data about the participant's newborns to include birth weight, gestational age, and the type of delivery (i.e. vaginal versus Cesarean birth). Chi square analysis was conducted to test for significant differences and associations. The sample of women in the study had high risk factors for inadequate utilization of prenatal care. In spite of high demographic risk factors, these women had higher perceived benefits, lower perceived barriers and high self-efficacy associated with prenatal care utilization. The perceived benefits and barriers to prenatal care were associated with place of birth and language preferred, with women from Mexico and who preferred Spanish having higher perceived benefits and lower barriers. There was no significant difference in birth outcomes among the women in different prenatal care programs. The findings of this study suggest that of all participants in the study, those born in Mexico demonstrated higher rates of perceived benefits of early prenatal care. The analysis also suggested that healthy birth outcomes were evenly distributed among women participating in one of the three prenatal care programs.

Subject Area

Obstetrics|Gynecology|Womens studies|Public health|Hispanic Americans

Recommended Citation

Barge, Suchitra, "Prenatal care programs in a clinic based center in El Paso, Texas: Evaluating outcomes among Hispanic women" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454500.