Knowledge and practice of urban Iranian pregnant women towards folic acid intake for neural tube defect prevention.J Pak Med Assoc 2012; 62(8):785-9JP
To assess the knowledge and practice of urban Iranian pregnant women regarding periconceptional folic acid intake for neural tube defect (NTD) prevention.
The population-based study was done on 676 primiparous women in an urban area in Golestan province in northern Iran from June to November, 2008. A questionnaire was completed by the subjects regarding their knowledge of folic acid. Questionnaires were administered to women who were seeking routine antenatal care at health centres, private gynaecological clinic and the Dezyani Gynaecologic and Obstetric Hospital. Questions covered knowledge and use of folic acid supplements and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
Out of the 676 women surveyed, 96.2% reported that they heard of folate. Of these, only 27.6% knew that folate was something important in the prevention of neural tube defects. Overall, 20.12% of the total women took folic acid during periconceptional period. The most common information sources on folate were healthcare service (54.5%). Besides, 37.6% of the subjects who heard about folate were aware that green leafy vegetables were fortified with folic acid. In univariate analysis, knowledge and intake of folic acid was not associated with education and the age of women.
A healthcare plan for intervention to increase the knowledge and intake of folic acid by pregnant women during the protective period is required.