Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda United States
Background There is a limited body of research examining Army leaders attitudes toward pregnancy in the military particularly under the current requirement to integrate female Soldiers into all previously closed military occupations and their perspectives on Pregnancy and Postpartum Physical Training P3T, a fitness and education program for pregnant and postpartum active duty Army Soldiers. Previous research on military pregnancy has been limited to examining the potential impact on readiness and unit cohesion from peer perspectives, workplace concerns from the pregnant Soldiers perspectives, and pregnancy planning and timing related to access to contraception. The Army Public Health Center APHC has evaluated P3T, but has not assessed the attitudes of leaders as a stakeholder in P3T outcomes. P3T relies heavily on the buy-in of leaders for its implementation because it operates at the installation level or lower. Understanding leader attitudes about P3T may help understand more about the variability of success of the program Army-wide. Additionally, as the military integrates women into formerly all-male units by January 2019, leaders attitudes toward P3T and military pregnancy are needed as a means to better understand the culture in whichpotentially pregnant women will be integrated. Purpose of study This purpose of this study was to test a measure for consistency and use it to describe leaders attitudes toward military pregnancy with regard to impact on readiness and compatibility with active duty service, and leaders views on the P3T mission and outcomes. This study aimed to examine if these attitudes differed by occupational specialty while controlling for potential confounds. Method A sample of 657 participants were recruited using snowball and convenience sampling through social media. Participants were Army enlisted members and officers who served on active duty, or in the National Guard or Reserves, within the past year.