A cross-sectional survey investigating women's information sources, behaviour, expectations, knowledge and level of satisfaction on advice received about diet and supplements before and during pregnancy

Funnell, Gillian, Naicker, Kevin, Chang, John, Hill, Natasha and Kayyali, Reem (2018) A cross-sectional survey investigating women's information sources, behaviour, expectations, knowledge and level of satisfaction on advice received about diet and supplements before and during pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 18, p. 182. ISSN (online) 1471-2393

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Abstract

Background The reported long-term effects of poor maternal nutrition and uptake of recommended supplements before and during pregnancy was the impetus behind this study. Our objectives were to investigate and understand women’s expectations, knowledge, behaviour and information sources used regarding the use of nutrition and vitamin supplements before and during pregnancy. Methods A cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire was undertaken. A purposive sampling technique was used. Women attending the antenatal clinic at Croydon University Hospital during 2015 were invited to take part in the study. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, paired sample T-tests and Chi-squared tests, with the level of significance set at 5% (p < 0.05). Results A total of 133 pregnant women completed the survey. Analysis of the results showed that women are currently using electronic resources (33%, n = 42) rather than healthcare professionals (19%, n = 25) as an information source before pregnancy. Women who sourced information through the internet were significantly more likely to take folic acid (p = 0.006) and vitamin D (p = 0.004) before pregnancy. Women preferred to receive information from the antenatal clinic (62%, n = 83), internet (46%, n = 61) and from mobile applications (27%, n = 36). Although women believed they had sufficient knowledge (60%, n = 80) and had received adequate advice (53%, n = 70) concerning the correct supplements to take, this was not demonstrated in their behaviour, with only a small number of women (37%, n = 49) taking a folic acid supplement before pregnancy. Women mistakenly perceived the timing of supplement advice as correct, with only a small number of women (18%, n = 23) considering the advice on supplements as too late. Conclusions Despite the small sample size, this study demonstrated that women did not receive timely and/or accurate advice to enable them to take the recommended supplements at the optimal time. Women had the misconception that they understood the correct use of pregnancy supplements. This misunderstanding may be prevented by providing women intending to become pregnant with a structured, approved electronic source of information that improves their supplements uptake.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (until 2017) > School of Life Sciences
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (until 2017) > School of Pharmacy and Chemistry
Depositing User: Katrina Clifford
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2018 10:53
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2018 10:53
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-1834-x
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/41165

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