Support Options

Report a problem

You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Practices and perceptions of animal contact and associated health outcomes in pregnant women and new mothers / About

Practices and perceptions of animal contact and associated health outcomes in pregnant women and new mothers

By HsinYi Weng, K. Ankrom

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles

Companion animals play an important role in our society. However, pregnant women and new mothers might have specific concerns about animal-associated health outcomes because of their altered immune function and posture as well as their newborn babies. The study was conducted to collect baseline data for developing an evidence-based intervention for pregnant women and new mothers to help them adopt certain behaviors to prevent adverse animal-associated health outcomes. A survey, using the Health Belief Model as the theoretical framework, was developed and administered to 326 women attending the Women, Infants, and Children programs in Illinois and Indiana in 2015. Prevalence of dog and cat ownership was estimated to be 39% (95% CI: 33-45%) and 26% (95% CI: 21-31%), respectively. Regardless of pet ownership, 74% of the respondents reported having some type of animal contact in the past month. Pregnancy or the birth of a child altered some animal contact practices among the study participants; particularly a discontinuation or decrease in cleaning cat litter boxes. Reports of diseases contracted from animals were low (4%) in this study. By contrast, animal-associated injuries were prevalent (42%), and the majority were caused by animals the respondents owned (56%). Overall, respondents indicated that they appreciated the benefits of a program addressing animal-associated health outcomes and did not indicate strong resistance to adopt certain behaviors. The majority recognized human health-care providers as a source of information about animal contact and associated health outcomes but less frequently identified veterinarians as a source for such information. In addition, although most of the respondents felt that health-care providers and veterinarians should initiate discussions about preventing animal-associated illness and injuries, only 41% among those who had visited doctors or prenatal care services reported that their health-care providers discussed these issues with them. The results indicate the importance of an intervention concerning animal contact and associated health outcomes for the target population and provide insights to the potential implications of program implementation.

Publication Title Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume 3
Issue February
Pages 5
ISBN/ISSN 2297-1769
Language English
Author Address Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana,
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Anthrozoology
  4. APEC countries
  5. Attitudes
  6. Behavioral research
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Belief
  9. Business
  10. Children
  11. Corn
  12. Countries
  13. Developed countries
  14. Diseases and injuries of animals
  15. Economics
  16. Health
  17. Health care
  18. Health services
  19. Humans
  20. Human sexual and reproductive health
  21. Hygiene
  22. Illinois
  23. Incidence
  24. Indiana
  25. Infants
  26. Infectious diseases
  27. Mammals
  28. Men
  29. models
  30. mothers
  31. neonates
  32. North America
  33. OECD countries
  34. Parasites
  35. Parasitology
  36. pathology
  37. physicians
  38. pregnancy
  39. Primates
  40. Psychiatry and psychology
  41. Relationships
  42. Reproduction
  43. services
  44. Social psychology and social anthropology
  45. trauma
  46. United States of America
  47. vertebrates
  48. Veterinarians
  49. Veterinary sciences
  50. Wild animals
  51. Women
  52. Zoology
  53. Zoonoses