Reproductive Health Knowledge Among African American Women Enrolled in a Clinic-Based Randomized Controlled Trial to Reduce Psychosocial and Behavioral Risk: Project DC-HOPE

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BACKGROUND: Washington, DC, has among the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy in the United States. Increasing women's reproductive health knowledge may help to address these reproductive health issues. This analysis assessed whether high-risk pregnant African American women in Washington, DC, who participated in an intervention to reduce behavioral and psychosocial risks had greater reproductive health knowledge than women receiving usual care. METHODS: Project DC-HOPE was a randomized, controlled trial that included pregnant African American women in Washington, DC, recruited during prenatal care (PNC). Women in the intervention group were provided reproductive health education and received tailored counseling sessions to address their psychosocial and behavioral risk(s) (cigarette smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, depression, and intimate partner violence). Women in the control group received usual PNC. Participants completed a 10-item reproductive knowledge assessment at baseline (n = 1,044) and postpartum (n = 830). Differences in total reproductive health knowledge scores at baseline and postpartum between groups were examined via χ(2) tests. Differences in postpartum mean total score by group were assessed via multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Women in both groups and at both time points scored approximately 50% on the knowledge assessments. At postpartum, women in the intervention group had higher total scores compared with women receiving usual care (mean 5.40 [SD 1.60] vs. 5.03 [SD 1.53] out of 10, respectively; p < .001). CONCLUSIONS: Although intervention participants increased reproductive health knowledge, overall scores remained low. Development of interventions designed to impart accurate, individually tailored information to women may promote reproductive health knowledge among high-risk pregnant African American women residing in Washington, DC.

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Women's Health Issues





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