The Impact of a Preconceptional Health Promotion Program on Intendedness of Pregnancy
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The objective for this study was to determine whether a brief preconceptional health promotion program for low-income women attending family planning clinics impacts on intendedness of pregnancy. In this prospective study, we examined data on 1378 women presenting for prenatal care at three local health departments. Each of the departments offers a standardized preconceptional health promotion program in its family planning clinics. Comparisons were undertaken for 456 women who had been exposed to the family planning preconception program, 309 women who had attended the family planning clinics but had not been exposed to the program, and 613 women who were unknown to the health department before beginning prenatal care. Women exposed to information on preconceptional health during routine family planning visits, the experimental group, had a 51.8% (p = 0.064) greater likelihood of identifying their pregnancies at intended than a group known to the local health departments' family planning programs but unexposed to the intervention. Furthermore, the experimental group had a 64.2% (p = 0.0009) greater likelihood of intendedness than a comparison group not known to the health departments before the initiation of prenatal care. Our study indicates that an introductory program of preconceptional health promotion which is targeted to women not planning a pregnancy in the immediate future is associated with a higher rate of intendedness in subsequent pregnancies. Expansion of similar preconceptional programs in family planning clinics may prove a useful approach for promoting intendedness of pregnancy in low-income women.
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