Disparities in Self-Reported Prenatal Counseling: Does Immigrant Status Matter?

Abstract

Immigrant women face unique barriers to prenatal care access and patient-provider communication. Yet, few prior studies have examined U.S.-born/immigrant differences in the content of care. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of immigrant status, English proficiency and race/ethnicity on the receipt of self-reported prenatal counseling using nationally representative data. We used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (N ≈ 8100). We investigated differences in self-reported prenatal counseling by immigrant status, English proficiency, and race/ethnicity using logistic regression. Counseling topics included diet, smoking, drinking, medication use, breastfeeding, baby development and early labor. In additional analyses, we separately examined these relationships among Hispanic, Mexican and Non-Hispanic (NH) Asian women. Neither immigrant status nor self-reported English proficiency was associated with prenatal counseling. However, we found that being interviewed in a language other than English language by ECLS-B surveyors was positively associated with counseling on smoking (OR, 2.599; 95% CI, 1.229–5.495) and fetal development (OR, 2.408; 95% CI, 1.052–5.507) among Asian women. Race/ethnicity was positively associated with counseling, particularly among NH black and Hispanic women. There is little evidence of systematic overall differences in self-reported prenatal counseling between U.S.-born and immigrant mothers. Future research should investigate disparities in pregnancy-related knowledge among racial/ethnic subgroups.

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Correspondence to Tiffany L. Green.

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Green, T.L., Bodas, M.V., Jones, H.A. et al. Disparities in Self-Reported Prenatal Counseling: Does Immigrant Status Matter?. J Community Health 43, 864–873 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-018-0495-z

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Keywords

  • Prenatal care content
  • Immigrants
  • Race/ethnicity