Defining and Measuring Empowerment at the Maternity Care Coalition

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Committee Chair: Martha Romney, Thomas Jefferson University


Empowerment is a necessary component for behavior change. This project concentrates on defining empowerment according to community health workers (Advocates) at a maternal and child health focused community-based organization, and using that definition to identify a tool to accurately measure empowerment pre- and post-intervention in their clients. A literature review and a review of past focus groups conducted by the community-based organization were performed to establish foundation for an interview tool. This was followed by key informant interviews conducted with Advocates to inform the development of a definition of empowerment. Interview transcripts were coded to identify themes which were used to review existing measurement tools for compatibility with the definition of empowerment developed by key informants. The Advocates identified the constructs of self-advocacy, self-sufficiency, self-efficacy, positivity and self-care skills as essential components of empowerment for clients. Based on the identified constructs the General Self-Efficacy Scale, with an additional qualitative component, was recommended to meet the Advocate’s and community-based organization’s measurement needs.

Presentation: 26 minutes