A Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Urban, Low-Income, Pregnant African American Women and Their Offspring Open Access

Zhang, Huaiyu (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zs25x869p?locale=en


Pregnancy is generally viewed as a positive experience, but research has shown that prenatal maternal stress occurs in nearly half of all pregnancies. Physical, psychological, and financial challenges are often experienced and are compounded for African American women from urban, low-income environments. The current study focused on a mindfulness-based intervention for a group of urban, low-income, pregnant African American women with the purpose of improving maternal well-being and obstetric outcomes. This randomized controlled pilot study involved a 2 X 4 mixed model design, comparing treatment as usual (TxAU) with the Mindful Motherhood intervention on several outcomes at pre-intervention, post-intervention, one month post-intervention, and one month postpartum. A total of 65 adult participants (31 TxAU, 34 Mindful Motherhood) met the inclusion criteria and participated in the study. Due to significant attrition in both assessments and intervention participation, dose-effect analyses were employed to test treatment effects on outcome variables with repeated measures ANOVA and multiple linear regressions. Preliminary findings support the efficacy of the Mindful Motherhood training in improving levels of mindfulness, reducing reactive cortisol response, and reducing pregnancy-related stress at post-intervention; improving pregnancy-related positive experience and reducing depressive symptoms at one month follow-up; and improving sustained attention at one month postpartum. However, none of these effects appeared to have lasting impact on the participants, and treatment did not appear to impact stressful life events, perceived stress, baseline salivary cortisol levels, coping strategies, or obstetric outcomes. This pilot study is believed to be the first empirical research on a mindfulness-based intervention with a group of urban, low-income, pregnant African American women. These preliminary results support the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions with this minority population and encourage efforts to optimize recruitment and retention of underprivileged participants to decrease health care disparities.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
I. Introduction 1
II. Method 33
III. Results 48
IV. Discussion 58
V. References 72
VI. Figures 112
VII. Tables 117

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