A Qualitative Study Documenting Black Birthing Individuals' Perspectives on the Disproportionate Rate of Preterm Birth in the Black Community

Womens Health Rep (New Rochelle). 2022 May 10;3(1):515-522. doi: 10.1089/whr.2021.0116. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: Compared with all other racial and ethnic groups, the rate of preterm birth (PTB) is 50% higher among non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB). There are limited published data focused on the etiology of the racial disparity in PTB from the perspective of Black birthing individuals who have had a lived experience with PTB.

METHODS: To gain insights into the etiology of the race disparity in PTB from the NHB patient’s perspective, we conducted a qualitative descriptive study with NHBs who have a history of PTB. We conducted both focus group discussions (FGDs), in-depth interviews (IDIs), and used applied thematic analysis to analyze the data.

RESULTS: Seven individuals participated in 3 FGDs and 15 individuals participated in an IDI. The majority of participants named stress as a contributor to PTB among NHBs. Participants described that stress becomes an ongoing cycle with a cumulative effect on health. Three primary sources of stress were identified: (1) individual including stress from lack of personal wellness, (2) relational stress from intimate partner and familial relationships, and (3) community-level stress from occupations and societal expectations.

CONCLUSION: Uncovering NHB patient’s perspectives on the etiology of PTB is a critical step to develop interventions that mitigate the disparity impacting the Black community. Our findings suggest that multilevel interventions targeting individual-, relational-, and community-level stress may be necessary to reduce rates of PTB among NHB individuals.

PMID:35651995 | PMC:PMC9148654 | DOI:10.1089/whr.2021.0116