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Developing a Training Curriculum for Doulas Providing Care for HIV-Positive Pregnant Women: Evidence-Based Recommendations

Culminating Experience (CE) Abstract

Background: Doulas are becoming an effective addition to the maternity care team for mothers with complex needs. Doulas function as community health workers who provide expectant parents with prenatal and childbirth education through home visiting, continual support during labor and delivery, and family support during the postpartum period. Although there is a growing population of pregnant women living with HIV, most doula training organizations do not incorporate HIV education into their standard or continuing education curricula.

Methods: A review of allied health professional literature on the components, delivery strategies and outcomes of HIV education curricula was conducted. Interview consultations with 3 experts in perinatal HIV and a founder of a volunteer doula program also were conducted.

Results:  The review of the allied health literature combined with expert interviews resulted in recommendations that HIV education be developed and integrated into standard and continuing education for future and practicing doulas by forming a multi-stakeholder curriculum advisory committee that includes women living with HIV. Interprofessional education in which doulas learn together with people from other health care disciplines is an effective instructional method.

Conclusion: The project resulted in recommendations that an interprofessional HIV curriculum designed for doulas may be an ideal model from which to build future trainings to help increase knowledge and capacity among current and future doulas so that they may better meet the complex needs of expecting and new mothers living with HIV in the United States.  

Key Words: doulas, HIV, training, curriculum, perinatal care, interprofessional education


Please email me if you would like to read my complete Culminating Experience paper: sarthur AT mail DOT sfsu DOT edu

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