Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Purpose and Background/Significance: The main purpose of the study is to determine: (1) to determine if there is a relationship between vitamin D status, pregnancy symptoms, health promoting behaviors, and quality of life and (2) to determine if differences exist in pregnancy symptoms, health promoting behaviors and quality of life between African American and Hispanic women. There is evidence to show that vitamin D deficiency has been associated with numerous symptoms such as musculoskeletal pain, poor sleep, and depression. However, whether low levels of vitamin D is associated with these and other symptoms during pregnancy is unknown. What is known is that vitamin D deficiency disproportionately affects pregnant minority women, therefore, this study will help to understand the impact that vitamin D deficiency has on pregnancy symptoms and potential impact on quality of life.

Theoretical/ conceptual framework: Using Wilson & Cleary's Health Related Quality of Life model, that the characteristics of the individual (e.g. age, ethnicity) and the environment (e.g. social support) has an important impact on biological factors (e.g. vitamin D status), symptom status (pregnancy symptoms and depression), functional status (health promoting behaviors), all of which ultimately effect the overall health related quality of life.

Method: A descriptive, cross sectional design examining women at 24 to 32

weeks gestation. The variables of study include the following: biologic (vitamin D

status), symptoms (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Pregnancy Symptom Inventory and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), functional status (Health Promoting Lifestyles Profilev.2), and quality of life (SF-12). A convenience sample of 125 women from an underserved, low income health center serving a predominantly African American and Hispanic patient population will be recruited.

Results: With vitamin D measured on a binary scale as sufficient (vitamin D level >30 ng/ml) versus deficient (vitamin D level/ml), both univariable and multivariable binary logistic regression models will be used to assess the association between these risk factors and vitamin D status. As a measure of effect size, univariable odds ratios along with their 95% confidence intervals will be reported, and a single multivariable model will report adjusted odds ratios for each factor after controlling for the influence of other significant predictors of vitamin D deficiency.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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