Managing Environmental Risks in Pregnancy

Principal Investigator(s): John Craine, MS, MBA; Lisa McElaney, MFA
Funding Agency: NIH / NIEHS
Dates: 11/01/2005 – 08/31/2011
Reference: 5R44ES014495
Status: Phase I complete; Phase II complete.
Abstract: Environmental toxicants are increasingly linked to adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, birth defects and developmental delays. Inner-city populations are at higher risk for adverse birth outcomes and also are more likely to be exposed to environmental toxicants. Obstetric providers are seeking clarification about the true risks of many environmental exposures and what message they should deliver to their patients. Patients in this population are confused by the conflicting messages they receive from providers and peers about behaviors and exposures that could put their fetus at risk. The Institute of Medicine and the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation recommend the integration of environmental health concepts into all levels of medical and nursing education. In the SBIR project called “Managing Environmental Risks in Pregnancy”, Vida Health Communications, Inc. completed the development and evaluation of the web-based provider training and multi-media patient education program. The final products of this research were (1) a cross disciplinary web-based training offering continuing education for obstetric providers serving urban populations, (2) an educational DVD in English and Spanish and group discussion guide for showing to patients in clinic and office waiting areas or in facilitated group discussions, (3) a library of colorful support materials in English and Spanish at appropriate levels of literacy for providers to print and distribute to patients made available both as electronic documents (pdf) and in pre-printed form. The effectiveness of each program was tested among 106 prenatal providers and 79 pregnant women served by urban Women, Infant and Children Nutrition (WIC) programs. Both studies used a quasi-experimental pre-post design. Surveys (providers) or interviews (patient) tested participants’ knowledge of environmental risks, behavior, attitudes/beliefs, perceptions, and behavioral intention at enrollment (pre-course/pre-workshop), immediately after completing the intervention (post-course/post-workshop), and at 4-week follow-up. For findings, follow the links below. This project advances the environmental health training of obstetric providers serving urban populations that may be at risk for exposure to substances that can harm their developing fetus. It also provides much needed education, at appropriate literacy levels, for at-risk women about ways that they can moderate fetal exposure to environmental risks in pregnancy.
Findings: See final report
Product Information: See product page for Your Green Guide to Pregnancy DVD.
See eLearning course for Managing Environmental Risks in Pregnancy.

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