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Donna Bailey


Health agencies have recognized persistent health care disparities as the primary causes of mortality among minority populations. The emphasis of published studies on the health of minority women in the United States has revealed a knowledge gap in prioritizing prenatal care (PNC). The purpose of this narrative descriptive study was to explore access disparities in PNC and the effect the overall experience had on first-time pregnant minority women in receipt of PNC. The health services utilization framework provided the theoretical lens to analyze and interpret the findings of this study. The key research questions explored how the self-reported experiences of first-time pregnant minority women when seeking PNC affect the overall process to achieve positive pregnancy outcomes. Twelve first-time pregnant minority women living in the northeast metropolitan region of the United States participated in semistructured interview that generated data used in this study. NVivo 12 was used to manage data, enabling the use of thematic analysis to create the study findings. Key study findings revealed several interrelated themes such as racial/ethnic discrimination, health insurance status, and income status in the process of seeking care defined access disparities that negatively affect the PNC experiences. The positive social change implications from the results of this study include guidance for the implementation of targeted health care policy that includes public health professionals (PHPs) as stakeholders. A partnership between the PHPs and health care reform legislators could be the catalyst for improved outcomes, transparency, trust, accountability, and opportunities to create targeted approaches and sustainable interventions to influence positive pregnancy outcomes for these women.

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