It’s the Small Things: An Intersectional Approach to African American Women on Medicaid Receiving Prenatal Care


  • Na'Tasha M. Evans School of Health Sciences, Kent State University; Now with University of Kentucky College of Medicine
  • Kamesha Spates Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh
  • Danette Conklin Department of Psychiatry and Reproductive Biology, Case Western Reserve University
  • Yu-Lin Hsu School of Health Sciences, Kent State University



African American, Medicaid, Prenatal care, Qualitative


Background: When examining prenatal care utilization rates, African American women were more likely to receive inadequate prenatal care. Yet, research about African American women’s prenatal care experiences fails to account for how their experiences may vary by socioeconomic status and insurance type. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to provide African American women on Medicaid with the opportunity to speak to what they found to be meaningful during their interactions with their prenatal care provider using an intersectionality framework.
Methods: Individual interviews were conducted with pregnant African American women (n = 20) receiving Medicaid who were in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. Participants aged 18 to 45 years were recruited from various health care systems located in Ohio. Researchers applied a thematic analysis approach during data collection and data analysis.
Results: Two overarching themes emerged about what these African American women considered meaningful when they talked to their prenatal care provider during pregnancy: (1) conversations around my prenatal care and (2) equipping me with knowledge.
Conclusion: The results obtained through the application of intersectionality theory allow researchers the opportunity to create effective solutions, interventions, and policies that can be implemented to improve infant health outcomes and reduce the risk of infant mortality among pregnant African American women receiving Medicaid. Implications also suggested that public health practitioners in Ohio should increase their awareness of what is important to this population to build patient's trust in provider recommendations and patient’s confidence in shared decision-making.






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