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Optimising preconception health-that is the health of women and men prior to a potential pregnancy-is increasingly recognised as fundamental to improving maternal and infant health outcomes. To date, limited research has been conducted examining preconception knowledge and studies focusing on preconception health behaviours have targeted certain behaviours, while overlooking others, with limited attention given to the interconception period and differences between multiparous and primiparous/nulliparous women. To determine predictors of preconception health knowledge among Canadian women and to examine whether parity modified the effect of predictors on preconception knowledge. A cross-sectional study reported according to STROBE was undertaken from May to June 2019 in Canada with 928 women. An online questionnaire was used including the Preconception Health Knowledge Questionnaire, demographic characteristics, current health status, previous pregnancy outcomes and use of preconception care services. Ordinary least squares regression was used to model knowledge scores. Predictors were entered using theoretically driven hierarchical entry. Mean age of women was 34 years and one in five were immigrants. In the final model, household income (b = .17, SE = .07; p = .009), being born outside Canada (b = -.75, SE = .25; p = .003), miscarriage/stillbirth history (b = .47, SE = .21; p = .027) and previous use of preconception care (b = .97, SE = .20, p ⟩ .001) were predictive of preconception health knowledge. Effect modification by parity was not statistically significant in the final model (f = 1.22, p = .19). Women at higher risk of poor preconception knowledge, and who therefore stand to gain from preconception knowledge interventions may include those who (1) are socially and economically disadvantaged; (2) have not engaged in preconception care previously and (3) were not born in Canada. Ensuring national promotion of and access to preconception care is an important strategy to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes and optimise maternal and infant health. This study highlights the need for national promotion of and access to preconception health care for all pregnancy-planning families in order to improve perinatal outcomes. When evaluating preconception health efforts, preconception health knowledge must be considered within the context of social determinants of health and individuals' abilities to act on their knowledge. © 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Cindy-Lee Dennis, Alessandra Prioreschi, Catherine S Birken, Sarah Brennenstuhl, Hilary K Brown, Rhonda C Bell, Flavia Marini, Stephanie V Wrottesley. Predictors of preconception health knowledge among Canadian women: A nationwide cross-sectional study. Journal of clinical nursing. 2023 Aug;32(15-16):4843-4851

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PMID: 36460481

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