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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Pittsburgh: Uses Ecological Momentary Assessment to Explore Adverse Experiences During Pregnancy

Smartphones and smart scales were successfully used by a team led by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health scientists to encourage Postpartum Mothers Mobile Study (PMOMS) participants  to complete daily surveys related to psychosocial, behavioral and contextual factors that may influence their health during and after pregnancy, as well as weigh themselves weekly for 15 months.

The results were recently reported in the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology in a preliminary descriptive analysis of ecological momentary assessment self‐reported measures of stress, racism, sexism, and microaggressions; and non‐ecological momentary assessment measures of stress and major discrimination.

PMOMS is an ongoing longitudinal cohort study that began recruitment in December 2017 and seeks to build on current inequities and disparities research into how context, chronic stress and daily experiences of racism and sexism influence health during pregnancy and beyond. Participants delivering at a hospital in Pittsburgh, PA were recruited by 29 weeks’ gestation. Of the 230 participants, 63.5 percent  reported as white, 24.8 percent black/African American and 7 percent Hispanic origin.

On average, participants reported experiences of racism and sexism at least once daily, in an average 12‐hour day over a 4‐week period. Black participants indicated about two experiences per day of racism, and white participants indicated more than one per day of sexism.

Future work will include understanding if and how these measures may relate to already established measures of racism, sexism, and stress; and ultimately understanding associations with perinatal inequities.

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