Amy B. Hoppe

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon Patten, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sumin Hsieh, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Susan Burns, MSW, LICSW


This qualitative study explored the experience of low-income pregnant women in obtaining prenatal care. The literature review focused on the issues of accessibility and barriers in obtaining healthcare for low-income pregnant women. The review also included the concept of motivation for seeking and obtaining healthcare. Five pregnant women who sought prenatal care at an inner-city clinic were interviewed using semi-structured questions. The interviews focused on barriers to accessing health care and the women' s motivations for seeking and continuing care throughout their pregnancies. The study found that barriers such as long wait times did exist, but the main problem for the women was their low-income status. Dealing with financial problems created stress in their lives, and the long wait times they experienced only added to their elevated stress levels. Fortunately, these problems did not impede their use of the clinic for their prenatal care. They continued to receive their care at the clinic in spite of the problems they experienced. The primary implication for social work practice is the need for practitioners to continue to work together with health care providers to develop programs and policies that eliminate barriers and promote healthcare within low-income communities.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Hoppe.AB

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Social Work Commons