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Title:Assessing the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Pregnant Hispanic Women: Developing an Effective Educational Intervention for Gestational Diabetes
Author(s):Rhoads-Baeza, Maria Elena
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Janet Reis
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Health
Abstract:Hispanic women in the United States have a greater prevalence than non-Hispanic whites of gestational diabetes (GDM), a disease with numerous negative sequelae. Although in principle gestational diabetes is a preventable condition, to date no preventive interventions aimed specifically at GDM has been tested for any population. The purpose of this project was to better understand the determinants of eating behavior in low-income pregnant Hispanic women and to begin to design an intervention to prevent gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) targeting specific eating behaviors related to weight gain. This study was conducted in two phases at a Federally Qualified Health Center. The first phase was a formative exploration to study the knowledge, behavior, and attitudes of 48 pregnant low-income Hispanic women in order to determine issues to be addressed a prototype intervention. The prototype intervention was assessed by a second group of 46 pregnant low-income Hispanic women in terms of their willingness to change behaviors during pregnancy and their reaction to a brief lesson about the carbohydrate content of common foods and the importance of adequate hydration. Women in this study believed that sweets caused diabetes and, therefore, avoided them. However, the average number of carbohydrates consumed far exceeded the daily allowances recommended in the obstetrical literature. Women in this study also reported tensions between fatalistic explanations of disease and the attitudes of doing anything possible to ensure the health of their baby. Women expressed interest in an intervention to improve pregnancy outcomes, and 11 of 12 women contacted at the end of Phase two reported increasing the amount of water consumed per day. The findings of this study suggest that although low income pregnant Hispanic women might have fatalistic explanations for disease, they are receptive to suggestions of behavioral change in order to decrease the risks of complications during their pregnancy. Small changes can be incorporated into daily routines. Future studies should further examine the behaviors of low income pregnant women to determine how best to design a nutritional intervention to decrease the risk for complications of obesity and increased weight gain during pregnancy.
Issue Date:2008
Description:187 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337895
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2008

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