Promoting Folic Acid to Spanish-Speaking Hispanic Women: Evaluating Existing Campaigns to Guide New Development
Hispanic women are 1.5-3 times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have a child affected by neural tube defects. This disparity exists in spite of varied interventions designed to address the problem. The purpose of this research was to investigate Hispanic women's knowledge of folic acid, perceptions of existing education campaigns, and provide guidance for future promotion efforts. Three focus groups with Hispanic mothers (N = 18) were conducted to garner insights on these issues. Results suggested that these women understood the benefits of folic acid, did not see major cultural barriers to consuming folic acid-rich foods, and did not perceive insurmountable challenges to consuming a multivitamin with folic acid. For many women, an initial pregnancy served as their initial cue to action, suggesting a need for the continued development of education strategies that communicate the benefits of folic acid supplementation prior to pregnancy. Such strategies may necessitate targeting younger audiences, including teenagers.
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