Uilst Bat-Erdene

Supervisor: Sue Chandra

Project: Survey studying the effectiveness of prenatal care education using an informational website in the Edmonton Somali population and determining gaps in care

Degree program:

Medicine & Dentistry-Obstetrics & Gynecology

Lay abstract:

Immigrant women are reported to have lower levels of satisfaction with prenatal care and higher rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes when compared to Canadian born women. They experience increased chance of low infant birth weight, delivery by Caesarean section and increased chance of postpartum depression. These results have been partly attributed to the language barriers in accessing accurate and relevant information regarding prenatal care and difficulties in communicating with healthcare staff. In hopes of providing immigrant women accessible and accurate information, and to assist physicians in better helping their patients, we are developing a prenatal care informational website in multiple languages. We are first creating an English and Somali version to specifically work with the Somali population in Edmonton. Subsequent versions will be in the most in-demand languages in Edmonton. To create the best resource possible, we plan to study the effectiveness of the website and to determine areas of improvement according to the Somali women. The study will consist of two online surveys, before and after the use of the website with questions on the topics of events during pregnancy and delivery. The data will be collected and the pre and post survey results will be compared to assess the effectiveness of the resource. The goal is to determine areas of improvement of this online resource and to use the results from this research to improve the website in providing accessible information to immigrant women, thus ultimately having the potential of improving pregnancy outcomes of immigrant women.

What motivated you to participate in this research?

I’m very passionate about perinatal care and immigrant health. When Sue Chandra expressed her interest in developing a resource for non-Anglophone women, I was eager to be involved. Coming from a molecular biology bench research background, working on a project that has the potential of improving pregnancy outcomes and potentially leaving a lasting positive impact on women and their babies in a relatively short period of time is truly exciting.

What are your career aspirations?

Having just completed my second year of medical school, I’m glad to know that my true passion lies in women's health. At this moment, it’s hard to tell whether I will pursue this passion as a family doctor or an obstetrician. In addition to working as a clinician, I'm hoping to work on projects that improve accessibility and inclusivity to health care in the future. For now, I’m interested in developing this project to include as many languages.

How has this studentship helped you toward those aspirations?

This studentship has helped me confirm my strong interest in women's health, and I’m now more confident in the specialties I’m interested in. In addition, this studentship has taught me the value of multidisciplinary teams, and how wonderful and necessary it is to have a diverse group of healthcare providers. I hope this makes me a better clinician and a team player in the future.