Background: Geographic information systems (GIS) are seen as potentially important additions to traditional methods of studying risk factors in maternal and child health, but little is written on actual GIS use by communities. This article describes how one community–university collaboration used GIS for perinatal planning.

Objective: The objective was to determine whether utilizing GIS could help a community to identify risk and develop potential interventions to address perinatal health problems.

Methods: We tested the use of GIS over a 9-month period, using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods. Diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory guided this work.

Results: This collaboration resulted in the development of a perinatal GIS model that helped community members to decide where to focus interventions and in continued use of GIS for planning.

Conclusion: Close collaboration early in the planning process, coupled with the incorporation of DOI theory, is necessary for communities to use GIS to plan perinatal interventions


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pp. 23-29
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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