Contextual Analysis, Part 1: A Tool for Understanding Disparities in Preterm Birth

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Date Developed: 05/16/2007. Source: U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Presenter(s): Mary Kay Kenney, PhD; Jennifer Culhane, MPH, PhD. Type: Webinar Archive. Level: Intermediate. Length: 75 minutes.


In this introduction to contextual analysis, the presenters discuss contextual (neighborhood) factors associated with preterm birth. Dr. Kenney begins by describing the concept of neighborhoods influencing health status, and the importance of understanding these factors as they relate to preterm birth and health disparities. Dr. Culhane continues by providing a background of contextual analysis, and explains how it relates to individual risk factors, and how to incorporate neighborhood factors into models of risk behaviors and health outcomes.

Learning Objectives

• Discuss and overview of contextual analysis.

• Discuss how neighborhoods are defined.

• Learn what sources of data are available at the neighborhood level.

• Describe how neighborhood conditions can affect health.

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This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.