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ERIC Number: EJ957821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0090-4392
The Impact of Community Health Workers on the Self-Determination, Self-Sufficiency, and Decision-Making Ability of Low-Income Women and Mothers of Young Children
Kovach, Andrea Crivelli; Becker, Julie; Worley, Heidi
Journal of Community Psychology, v32 n3 p343-356 May 2004
Pregnant women at high risk for adverse health outcomes can benefit from the services of community health workers. Maternity Care Coalition identifies at risk women and provides links to health care and social services through the MOMobile Program. The purpose of this study was to explore (a) the relationship formed between community health workers and pregnant women, and (b) the change over time in a mother's perceived level of empowerment as measured by self-sufficiency, self-determination, and decision-making skills. A multiphase study was developed to collect data. Focus group interviews with community health workers explored their professional role, their relationship with mothers, and the meaning of decision-making, self-sufficiency, and self-determination as empowerment constructs. A questionnaire was developed to measure each construct at two points in time. A pilot study with 80 women was conducted. Scores for each construct and overall empowerment were calculated and the pre- and post-scores compared to measure change over time. Results of paired t-tests showed significant differences between the postpartum mean score for decision-making (P less than 0.01), self-sufficiency (P less than 0.01), self-determination (P less than 0.001), and overall empowerment (P less than 0.001) and the mean scores on each construct at registration. Results suggest that empowerment can be operationalized in community settings and that increasing an at risk pregnant woman's sense of empowerment may positively impact the overall health of the mother and child. Further research is needed to assess the full impact of this variable as a health status indicator. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania