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Expectant mothers' care preferences vary by ethnicity. Here are the key differences—and why they matter.

November 27, 2018

    In our first five consumer choice surveys, the largest differences in how consumers make tradeoffs when choosing care generally fell across age groups. In our new Women's Services Consumer Choice Survey, however, we just focused on 1,752 women ages 18 to 40 years who have had or are interested in having a baby. Within this demographic, we found that there are statistically significant variations in preferences when choosing a gynecologist or pregnancy care provider across ethnicities.

    Access the women's services preferences explorer

    Here are some of the top differences across ethnic groups to consider in your investment and experience strategies for women's services.

    (Note: We did not have a statistically significant sample of women from all ethnicities to analyze every group's preferences separately from the national pool. At the risk of drawing misrepresentative conclusions, we have thus not called out the preferences of all the ethnic groups that women self-identified with in our survey.)

    African-American women

    Women who self-identified with this group placed less value on room-related attributes than the average respondent. For example, they ranked having a private postpartum room 13th out of 55 pregnancy care-related attributes, whereas the attribute ranked 5th overall. Similarly, having a bed in the room for a partner and staying in the same room for their labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery were 16 and seven ranks lower, respectively, for this group than for the national cohort.

    Instead, cost-related attributes were more important to African-American respondents. This group ranked knowing the cost of labor and delivery upfront as 6th (as opposed to 16th, overall) and bundled pregnancy care and delivery costs 12th (as opposed to 22nd, overall).

    This group also placed more emphasis on using a provider who partners with the best hospital or medical group in their area, having friendly nurses, and being able to schedule check-ups on weekends and after hours on weekdays.

    Hispanic women

    Hispanic women's responses were closely aligned with the national rankings. That said, this group did place slightly more value on having a bed for their partner in their postpartum room, and slightly less value on having a NICU at their delivery site and friendly nursing and front desk staff at the provider's office.

    Asian women

    Unique from the national cohort, Asian respondents included friendly nursing staff and a delivery facility 15 minutes from home in their top ten most important pregnancy care attributes. They also ranked check-ups located near home or near their partner's work, as well as check-ups on weekends and after normal business hours on weekdays, more highly than the average respondent.

    Additionally, Asian respondents ranked "a recommendation from family and friends" much higher than other cohorts, suggesting a strong word-of-mouth referral strategy or a culturally specialized pregnancy offering may help differentiate providers for this group.

    Less important to this group? Having an obstetrician (as opposed to a midwife or other pregnancy care provider) deliver their baby, and being seen by their provider for the first time at the eight-week mark.

    Caucasian women

    Like Hispanic respondents, Caucasian women's preferences aligned closely with the national rankingslikely because they comprised the majority of our respondent panel. However, this group did rank knowing the cost of labor and delivery upfront and online scheduling for check-ups slightly lower than the average.

    Tailoring your women's services strategies

    As with any demographic group, not all individuals who self-identify as one of these ethnicities will share the group's same priorities. Therefore, it's still crucial to incorporate individuals' preferences into every patient's experience with your organization. However, planners can use these group-level insights to better inform their investment strategy and compete for consumer preferences.


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