Perceptions of Public Health College Students on the Effectiveness of Infant Mortality Disparity Reduction Programs in Georgia, USA: Challenges and Strategies to Close the Gap.
Author ORCID Identifier
Date of Award
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah, PhD
Barbara Yankey, PhD
PERCEPTIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH COLLEGE STUDENTS ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INFANT MORTALITY DISPARITY REDUCTION PROGRAMS IN GEORGIA, USA: CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES TO CLOSE THE GAP.
INTRODUCTION: Although the programs that address infant mortality save lives and improve upon the health outcomes of infants and children, very few eligible women participate in these programs in the state of Georgia. The question is, why is this the case? Perhaps, if public health students have a better understanding of the benefits of these programs, they could advocate for and get more mothers involved in these programs.
AIMS: The purpose of this study was to:
- Examine the perceptions of Georgia State University (GSU) School of Public Health (SPH) students on the effectiveness of infant mortality disparity reduction programs (IMDP) Georgia, USA.
- Examine GSU SPH students’ perceptions on potential challenges that serve as a barrier to maternal participation in IMDP in Georgia, USA.
- Obtain GSU SPH students’ recommendations on strategies to improve upon maternal participation in IMDP in Georgia, USA.
METHODS: A mixed methods cross-sectional design was used to collect data from 45 Georgia State University School of Public Health students across 4 domains using Qualtrics. Quantitative data was analyzed using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) version 9.4 and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 28. Qualitative data was analyzed using a thematic approach.
RESULTS: Most participants (71.4%) reported that programs aimed at reducing infant mortality disparities are effective. However, 80% of the participants cited lack of transportation and concerns about the immigration status of mothers as main challenges that prevent participation. Participants recommended investing in community outreach, improving program accessibility, simplifying enrollment, ensuring health literacy, increasing access to care, stigma reduction and building trust as potential strategies to increase programs participation.
CONCLUSION: The study finds that programs aimed at reducing infant mortality disparity in Georgia are effective, and the perspectives of public health students indicate their understanding of potential challenges. Encouraging these students to engage in advocacy activities can equip them with valuable skills to advocate for improvements and enhance program engagement by eligible mothers.
Jeudy, Henricles, "Perceptions of Public Health College Students on the Effectiveness of Infant Mortality Disparity Reduction Programs in Georgia, USA: Challenges and Strategies to Close the Gap.." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2023.
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