Abating Maternal Mortality: Development of an Innovative Curriculum

As developed by:
Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CHWI
Assistant Professor/Senior Fellow for Health Literacy, SaferCare Texas
University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health
Marie Stark, MSN, RNC-OB
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
Texas Christian University, Harris College of Nursing
The US maternal death rate is too high. Disparities exist for black mothers, low-income women, women at extremes of maternal age & women from rural areas. Some definitions of maternal mortality extend to 365 days following pregnancy termination & it is estimated that 50% of maternal deaths are preventable. For women to receive appropriate postpartum care, health literacy - the ability to understand & use health information - must be considered. To reduce postpartum maternal mortality, women must receive better education of potential complications & access to care providers for individualized services & supports that are understandable & culturally relevant. 
In answer to this, this innovative curriculum was developed using an interactive learning module to teach graduate MCH & nursing students & community health workers critical thinking, communication & cultural competency skills, improving health literacy practices to increase women's understanding of abnormal postpartum symptoms requiring emergency medical attention & their ability to seek adequate care.
Overview - The purpose of these items is to teach the basic concepts of Postpartum Education through a Health Literacy lens.  All of the items are meant to be used together. These items can be done as a 3-4 hours workshop or divided into a 2-part lecture. If divided into 2 parts, the Patient Self Efficacy & Advocacy section would be a good stopping point.
Pre-Test - The pretest is designed to be given at the beginning of the lesson. This will gauge what the audience knows before seeing the presentation & can be compared to the post -test to measure comprehension after completing all of the materials.
PowerPoint with Instructor Notes & Lesson Plan - The PowerPoint is the backbone of the lesson. This is designed to be an interactive lesson, complete with activities, class discussions & videos. Participation from the audience is encouraged. Embedded into the slides are Instructor Notes to guide the facilitator through the presentation with fluidity & ease. In addition, there is a Lesson Plan, which outlines the details of the PowerPoint to help keep the facilitator organized.
Post-Test - The post test is identical to the pre-test & is to be given after the completion of the entire PowerPoint.
Health Literacy Jeopardy - This is a fun activity designed to further test concepts of health literacy through an adaption of the popular TV game show, Jeopardy. Participants can be encouraged to separate into teams & the team with the highest score wins the game.
Reflection Paper & Rubric - The objective of the Reflection Paper is to “Understand, integrate & reflect on incorporating health literacy & cultural humility & competency in your MCH teaching.” The instructions are complete with an overview of the purpose of reflective writing & how to effectively address the prompts given. A rubric by which to grade the Reflection Paper is included.