Preconception Care: Existing Knowledge in Karnataka, India and Need for an Intervention

*Corresponding author: Jancy Anna James, Linu Sara George* and Sweety Fernandes

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original research

Abstract

Background

Preconception care improves pregnancy outcomes. The aim of preconception care is to identify situation in which the parents particularly mother or the fetus may be in any additional health risk, and to take steps to minimize the risk before pregnancy is possible. But the concept of preconception care is not as popular as in western countries comparing to India where the number of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality is high.

Objectives

To assess the level of knowledge among married women on preconception care by structured knowledge questionnaire; determine the effectiveness of informational booklet in terms of gain in knowledge scores; find the association between pre-test knowledge score and selected variables like age, education, occupation, type of family and parity.

Materials and methods

The study was carried out among married women between the age group of 18-35 residing in a selected village of Udupi District, Karnataka, India. An evaluative approach with one group pre-test and post-test design was used. Frequency, percentage, paired t-test and Chi-square test were used to analyze the data.

Results

Majority (55%) of the women had poor knowledge and 45% women had average knowledge in pre-test. In the post-test 57% of women had good knowledge and 43% had average knowledge. Mean difference between the pre-test and post-test knowledge score was 7.92, p<0.001 which showed an improvement in knowledge scores among women. An association was found between educational status and knowledge among women which can be inferred that the level of knowledge is dependent on the level of education.

Conclusion

Majority of the married women had poor knowledge on preconception care and an informational booklet on preconception care is an effective intervention in improving the knowledge.

Keywords

Preconception care; Married women; Information booklet; Knowledge level.