Evaluation of Knowledge and Attitude of Women Regarding Preconception Care Based on the Health Belief Model

Document Type: Original Research Article

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of Reproductive Health, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 MSc Student in Counseling in Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 PhD in Biostatistics, Professor, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Background & aim: Preconception care can improve maternal and neonatal health by the early recognition of risk factors related to pregnancy; however, preconception care is insufficiently administered in Iran.  On the other hand, the health belief model emphasizes on intrapersonal factors (e.g. knowledge and attitude) to develop healthy behaviors. Accordingly, this study aimed to determine the knowledge and attitude of women regarding preconception care based on the health belief model.
Methods: This analytical and descriptive study was performed on 110 married women aged 15-49 years in Mashhad, Iran, during 2016. Sampling was carried out through a multi-stage process. Research tools included demographic and midwifery characteristics, preconception risk assessment checklist, knowledge questionnaire, and health belief model questionnaire encompassing four constructs of perceived barriers, sensitivity, severity, and benefits. The score of all four constructs was estimated as attitude. Data analysis was performed in SPSS using Pearson’s correlation, Mann-Whitney U test, and Kruskal-Wallis test.
Results: In this study, the mean age of women was 31.7±6.5 years. The knowledge of preconception care was weak in 36.4% cases and moderate in 63.6% of participants. In addition, attitude scores were neutral and good among 79.1% and 20.9% of participants, respectively. In addition, the scores of constructs of sensitivity (80%), severity (77.3%) and perceived barriers (67.9%) were neutral, and only the construct of perceived benefit was at a good level among most women (63.3%). According to Spearman’s test, the scores of the constructs had a significant correlation with scores of knowledge and attitude (P<0.05).
Conclusion: According to the results of the study, the majority of women had moderate knowledge and neutral attitude regarding preconception care. Therefore, educational intervention based on a health belief model is recommended to improve the knowledge and attitude of women and develop preconception care behaviors in these individuals.

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