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West J Nurs Res. 2007 Apr;29(3):258-76; discussion 277-83.

Prenatal health promotion content and health behaviors.

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College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


To improve the effectiveness of prenatal care, there is a need to understand the association between health promotion content and health behaviors during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between prenatal health promotion content and health behaviors during pregnancy among low-income African American and Mexican American women. Twenty-two recommended health promotion topics and their related health behaviors were measured. Structured interviews on health promotion topics and health behaviors were conducted with 159 pregnant women receiving prenatal care at a low-risk urban clinic. Wide variation was found in the number of health promotion topics discussed. Bivariate and regression analyses examined the association between content topics and behaviors. Healthier behaviors were associated with women's reports of discussing more health promotion topics, using fewer substances prepregnancy, and having a more positive attitude toward pregnancy. Data suggest that increasing prenatal health promotion content during routine visits might improve the effectiveness of prenatal care.

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