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Women's Perception of Health Promotion Behaviors in Rural Andhra Pradesh India

Pallatino, Chelsea Leigh (2013) Women's Perception of Health Promotion Behaviors in Rural Andhra Pradesh India. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Problem Statement: Throughout the world, the infant mortality rate (IMR) is considered a measure of a country’s overall health status and public health achievements. In rural southern India, despite high rates of antenatal visits and delivery within healthcare institutions, infant mortality remains an issue of public health significance at 38 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Methods: In order to understand social, financial, and environmental factors contributing to infant mortality, SHARE INDIA staff facilitated focus groups with sixty-one mothers (ages 18-35) in seven villages of Medchal Mandal, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Discussions explored mothers’ home health and sanitation practices such as bathing, toileting, waste disposal, handwashing, breastfeeding, menstrual health, cosleeping, and laundering.

Research Questions: Researchers wanted to understand if infant mortality is attributed to lack of clean water access and other sanitation resources such as latrines, showers, sinks, and waste disposal services. In addition, SHARE INDIA wanted to understand if infant mortality is related to lack of awareness among the priority population concerning benefits, consequences, and proper completion of hygienic behaviors.

Results: Emerging themes included lack of accessibility of health promotion resources such as clean water and disinfectants, and varying levels of awareness of sanitary behaviors. Women demonstrated commitment to preserving infant health, but were not always connected to resources or aware of their proper use. Participant responses indicated normalization of infrastructural barriers to promoting health, such as inadequate availability of water and trash disposal services, and the influence of sociocultural norms on health. Participants discussed the impact of geographic isolation and affordability on providing health resources. Social support was an asset cited by women, who received informational support and support completing household chores from family members and others.

Discussion: When possible, women took precautions to protect children’s health. However, health-related decision-making and mothers’ conception of appropriate situations to perform health promotion behaviors was influenced by environmental and cultural barriers prohibiting routine performance of evidence-based behaviors.

Conclusions and Implications for Global Health: Future research and interventions should target education regarding health promotion behaviors such as handwashing in the home to address appropriate completion of routine hygienic behaviors.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pallatino, Chelsea Leighclp44@Pitt.eduCLP44
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBurke, Jessica jgburke@pitt.eduJGBURKE
Committee MemberBunker, Clareannbunkerc@pitt.eduBUNKERC
Committee MemberTerry, Marthamaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberHayden, Robertrhayden@pitt.eduRHAYDEN
Date: 27 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 March 2013
Approval Date: 27 June 2013
Submission Date: 15 April 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 111
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: India, women, health promotion, sanitation, hygiene
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2013 19:14
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11


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