Knowledge, Perception, and Use of Medications during Pregnancy in Hispanic Women in Utah County, UT
Mentor: Gene Cole, Department of Health Science
The purpose of this study was to research, primarily, how Hispanic view and respond to prescription drugs during pregnancy. The study’s population was Hispanic women in Utah County who are/were pregnant and their adherence to prescription drugs versus home remedies. We conducted our research at the Mountainlands Community Health Center in Provo, Utah. We sought to understand the opinions and perceptions Hispanic women have towards use of prescription and alternative medicine during pregnancy.
We developed a survey with 19 questions that included demographics, asked about their primary source of health information, listed some prescription or alternative medications possibly taken during pregnancy and included a free response question. Additionally, the survey listed any possible illnesses that the women may have taken prescription or alternative medicine to treat. The survey was translated into Spanish and no personal information was collected.
The most significant correlation that was found was that between educational level and discussing use of herbs and vitamins during pregnancy. Those with higher educational attainment were more likely to report having spoken with their doctors about herbs and vitamins as opposed to those who have lower educational levels who reported they had not spoken with their doctors about these things. This study has identified the need for culturally sensitive and focused educational initiatives for the Hispanic population in Utah County, Utah; which may also be applicable to other communities across the United States in which the Hispanic population continues to grow.
Ultimately, the need for cultural competency in the healthcare field is highly important and one that is, unfortunately, severely lacking. If the physician is able to better understand their patient’s backgrounds they are able to deliver better care. Taking into account how culture affects perceptions about medicine and healthcare can help healthcare professionals develop better relationships with their patients. As with the women we surveyed, it was clear that their culture and beliefs strongly influenced the decisions they took in regards to their health and pregnancy. Therefore, creating educational initiatives that are both culturally sensitive to the population are important as well as training physicians on cultural competency.
Our study provided a lot of insights into how people’s cultures and beliefs play are incredibly influential when it comes to their views and opinions on healthcare. In this case, we were able to gain a deeper understanding of how the Hispanic population, specifically women who are/were pregnant, view prescription medication versus alternative medicine. We were also able to find a correlation between education level and having discussed use of vitamins or home remedies during pregnancy. It is an important topic that needs to be addressed considering the large amount of Hispanics living in the United States. Knowing how culture plays a role in people’s healthcare decisions are important especially when dealing with at-risk groups like pregnant women.