To develop a medically tailored emergency food bag and nutrition education handouts treating food insecurity (FIS) identified in clinical settings of rural, high-risk pregnant women.
Use of Theory
Grounded in the socio-ecological model
High-risk pregnant women who screen positive for FIS during an appointment.
The MOTHeRS' Project is a pilot to provide mental health and maternal-fetal services via telehealth to women with high-risk pregnancies in rural OB-GYN practices where FIS rates of 18-24% exceed the state average (15%). The funder requested FIS be addressed but the timeline precluded us from interacting with the target audience or reviewing clinic records. An extensive literature review identified 9 nutrients critical but commonly under consumed in pregnancy. Published food lists from USDA and NIH were used to select foods high in the target nutrients. An online local grocery store was used to select 31 foods within the budget. Three complementary handouts were developed (eg, healthy eating, recipes, food safety) in English and Spanish. The bag and educational materials were designed to complement WIC benefits, expecting women may also receive WIC. The food bag and handouts were evaluated by 18 practitioners and/or researchers with expertise with rural, under-served pregnant women, and/or FIS. Bags were provided to patients who screened positive for FIS via the Hunger Vital Sign screener validated for clinical settings.
Process evaluation was via a semi-structured telephone interview with content validated for MOTHeRS’. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using deductive content analysis to identify themes. Transcripts were reviewed independently by the research team (n = 4) using a codebook and consensus was reached regarding themes.
Preliminary themes suggest high satisfaction, acceptance and utilization of the food. Most participants reported limited access to other food resources and sharing food with other household members.
Our findings align with previous studies further suggesting medically tailored food resources provided in clinical settings are acceptable, and potentially associated with reduced social stigma. Contents of food bag and handouts will be shared.