Neighborhood Perceptions Among Pregnant African American Women in St. Louis, Missouri, Before and After the Shooting of Michael Brown

Health Equity. 2020 Aug 19;4(1):353-361. doi: 10.1089/heq.2019.0125. eCollection 2020.


Purpose: This study aims to examine perceptions of neighborhood quality and safety before and after the death of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed. Methods: In this secondary analysis of baseline data from one site in The Lifestyle Interventions for Expectant Moms (LIFE-Moms) Consortium, pregnant African American women in the St. Louis region completed a survey of neighborhood perceptions. Logistic regression was used to explore associations between perceptions among those completing baseline surveys and entering the study before and after August 9, 2014 (range: 2012-2015), adjusted for demographic characteristics. Results: Of 267 participants, half (n=134) completed the survey after August 9, 2014. Thirty-four percent of participants completing the survey after this date felt "The crime rate in my neighborhood makes it unsafe to go on walks during the day" compared with 21% of those completing the survey before (adjusted odds ratio=2.0, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-3.7). There were no consistently significant differences in demographic characteristics or in the remaining 16 neighborhood items. Conclusions: This study is an example of how an unexpected shift in the community context in the wake of a profound event may impact health behaviors and outcomes in a measurable way. Clinical Trials Registration: NCT01768793.

Keywords: environment; pregnancy; socioeconomic factors.

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