196775 Preconception healthcare: Addressing women's knowledge of risk factors for improved pregnancy outcomes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:30 AM

Linda M. Harelick, MS, MBA , School of Public Health, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY
Denise Tahara, PhD , School of Public Health, New York Medical College, Valahlla, NY
Deborah Viola, PhD , School of Public Health, New York Medical College, Valahlla, NY
In 2005 the CDC and March of Dimes convened a national summit on preconception. Of concern was the high rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes despite the majority of U.S. women receiving early prenatal care. The panel recommendations form a model for local, state, and federal planning. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the knowledge of preconception risk factors (e.g., folate and vitamin supplementation, alcohol and smoking use, and obesity) of women of childbearing age in three community health centers in lower income and racially mixed areas of Westchester County, NY and to identify opportunities to introduce culturally appropriate risk reduction education. For this population, low birth weight and preterm birth rates exceed those of New York State and Healthy People 2010 goals. Surveys were self-administered by eligible women (n=300) and were available in English and Spanish. Questions came from surveys developed by the March of Dimes and the CDC's Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. The instrument had been validated in a previous pilot study and approved by the New York Medical College IRB. Preliminary analyses reveal that three-quarters of the women had their first prenatal visit between the fourth and eighth week; 52% received no multivitamin or folate supplementation prior to their knowledge of pregnancy; and 39% reported having at least one drink/week during the last 3 months of pregnancy. The case for providing preconception care is convincing, and the design of appropriate educational interventions requires a regional and cultural understanding of women's knowledge of risk factors.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify preconception risk factors among socioeconomically disadvantaged women; and 2. Design culturally appropriate risk reduction education interventions.

Keywords: Women's Health, Birth Outcomes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Completing doctoral level work on Preconception Healthcare in the form of a research study and dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.