Preconception Health Behaviors and Associated Factors of Bhutanese Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Care Clinic of National Referral Hospital


  • Kinga Om
  • Wannee Deoisres
  • Wantana Suppaseemanont


Objective: To examine the preconception health behaviors (e.g. healthy eating, folic acid consumption, alcohol avoidance and no chewing of betel nut) and associated factors among Bhutanese pregnant women. Methods: A convenience sample of 90 pregnant women visiting the antenatal care clinic for the first booking visit at Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital in Bhutan participated in this study. Data were collected through a face-to-face interview using the structured questionnaires that consisted of Personal and Medical Information Questionnaire, London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy, Preconception Care Knowledge Questionnaire, and Preconception Health Behavior Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s product moment correlation, Point Biserial correlation, Pearson’s Chi-square and Fisher’s exact test were used to describe the demographic data and examine the relationships. Results: 82.2% of the women adopted at least one of the preconception health behaviors, but few with varied findings were reported for each behavior examined. Preconceived folic acid consumption was the least behavior adopted (4.4%, n = 4) followed by changing to healthy diet (23.3%, n = 6) and chewing of betel nut (68.1%, n = 32) even after pregnancy. Overall preconception health behaviors showed a significantly positive correlation with the preconception care knowledge (r = 0.22, P = 0.04) and pregnancy intention (r = 0.46, P < 0.001). When each behavior was examined for the four factors, pregnancy intention was the only factor associated with most of the behaviors. Conclusion: Findings suggest that nursing interventions should aim at encouraging women to adopt all aspects of preconception health behaviors. Emphasis should be put on improving their knowledge about the behaviors and planning for the effective pregnancy. Keywords: Preconception health behaviors, folic acid, pregnant women, knowledge, healthy diet, alcohol


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