Presenter Information

Stephanie Jacobs, DNP, FNP, CNM

School of Nursing, PhD Program

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand the cultural beliefs, values, and practices of African American women regarding postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most prevalent perinatal mental health illness in women and affects approximately 10 to 20% of all women in the United States. African American women have a disproportionately higher prevalence of postpartum depression (35-67%) and experience it differently. The research question was: What are the cultural care beliefs, values and practices of African American women regarding postpartum depression? This mini-focused ethnography was the method used for this study. It included semi-structured interviews of four African American women about the domain of inquiry. The data was transcribed and analyzed using Leininger’s Four Phases of Qualitative Data Analysis. Initial data analysis resulted in the identification of categories and patterns. The initial findings of this study revealed two emerging patterns from the interviews, striving to be a perfect mom, and distrust of the medical system, reflecting the challenges of postpartum depression of the four participants. This mini-focused ethnography provides valuable insight from African American women identifying similar cultural perceptions and beliefs about postpartum depression. These findings suggest a need for more culturally specific data regarding postpartum depression and the need for better support from health care providers with the goal of improving maternal health outcomes within this population.

School

School of Nursing

Advisor

Dr. Rick Zoucha

Submission Type

Paper

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Exploration of the Cultural Beliefs, Values and Practices of African American Women Regarding Postpartum Depression: A Mini-Focused Ethnography

The purpose of this study was to understand the cultural beliefs, values, and practices of African American women regarding postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most prevalent perinatal mental health illness in women and affects approximately 10 to 20% of all women in the United States. African American women have a disproportionately higher prevalence of postpartum depression (35-67%) and experience it differently. The research question was: What are the cultural care beliefs, values and practices of African American women regarding postpartum depression? This mini-focused ethnography was the method used for this study. It included semi-structured interviews of four African American women about the domain of inquiry. The data was transcribed and analyzed using Leininger’s Four Phases of Qualitative Data Analysis. Initial data analysis resulted in the identification of categories and patterns. The initial findings of this study revealed two emerging patterns from the interviews, striving to be a perfect mom, and distrust of the medical system, reflecting the challenges of postpartum depression of the four participants. This mini-focused ethnography provides valuable insight from African American women identifying similar cultural perceptions and beliefs about postpartum depression. These findings suggest a need for more culturally specific data regarding postpartum depression and the need for better support from health care providers with the goal of improving maternal health outcomes within this population.