Prenatal care: A survey of African American women in Houston

Polly Sparks Turner, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The focus of the study was to identify variables that African American women who delivered at a teaching hospital in Houston, Harris County, Texas, between January 12, 1998 and April 24, 1998 perceived to prevent them from receiving adequate prenatal care. The research was based on Aday and Andersen's Framework for the Study of Access to Medical Care. A self-administered questionnaire, using realized and potential access indicators, was developed and administered to 161 African American patients at the study hospital. The objectives of the study were (1) to describe the demographic characteristics of African American women who delivered at a large urban teaching hospital between January 12, 1998 and April 24, 1998; and to determine the relationships between (2) predisposing factors such as age, race, educational level, marital status, family structure, social support and attitude toward prenatal care and prenatal care utilization; (3) enabling factors such as income, employment, insurance status, transportation, appointment, and regular source of care; (4) need factors such as perceived health status, number of past pregnancies, pregnancy occurrence; and (5) the relative importance of predisposing, enabling and need factors as predictors of utilization of prenatal care. The indicators of prenatal care utilization examined included the trimester in which the women initiated prenatal care, number of visits, and numbers and types of services received during pregnancy. Barriers cited included low income and inadequate insurance coverage, problems of transportation and child care, unawareness of pregnancy, delays in the scheduling of appointments, and having too many other problems. The results of the study have implications for well-defined public health promotion campaigns, social support system enhancement, and appointment scheduling reform with an emphasis on prenatal care.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Turner, Polly Sparks, "Prenatal care: A survey of African American women in Houston" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9981804.