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Health Equity

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Pregnancy -- Latina women, Systemic analysis


Purpose: The impression that Latinas experience paradoxically good pregnancy outcomes in the United States persists, despite evidence showing that these outcomes are not enjoyed by all Latina subgroups. We conducted this systematic literature review to examine the relationship between documentation status and pregnancy outcomes among Latinas.

Methods: This review synthesizes empirical evidence on this relationship; examines how these studies define and operationalize documentation status; and makes recommendations of how a more comprehensive methodological approach can guide public health research on the impact of documentation status on Latina immigrants to the United States. We searched the literature within PubMed, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, and Google Scholar in 2017 for relevant studies.

Results: Based on stringent inclusion criteria, we retained nine studies for analysis.

Conclusion: We found that evidence for the impact of documentation status on pregnancy outcomes among Latinas is not conclusive. We believe the divergence in our findings is, in part, due to variation in: conceptualization of how documentation status impacts pregnancy outcomes, sample populations, definitions of exposures and outcomes, and contextual factors included in models. Specific analytic challenges around sampling, measurement, and data analysis are identified. Suggestions for future research are offered regarding measurement of documentation status. Findings highlight the need for increased attention to documentation as an influence on Latina pregnancy outcomes.


© Dawn M. Richardson et al. 2020; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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