Betty Neuman’s theory was used as Conceptual Framework for the study. Quantitative survey research approach was used. The study was conducted at Saradha College of education, Salem and Govt. Arts College for Women, Salem. 100 samples were recruited by Non Probability convenient Sampling Technique who meets the inclusion criteria. The content validity of tools and Booklet regarding preconception care after marriage was done by 5 experts. 80% agreement was there in tools and booklet modification was made according to their suggestion. The reliability of the tool was also checked using spilt-half method and was found as r’=0.89. The pilot study was conducted in Govt.Arts College, Salem with 10 samples. No modifications were made after the pilot study.
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Data was collected in the month of September, 2010 (14.9.2010- 30.09.2010). Initially the researcher got formal permission from Saradha College of education and in Govt. Arts College for women, Salem. Informed written consent was obtained from each sample after explaining the purpose of the study and was given assurance for keeping the information confidentially. The data was collected by using convenient sampling technique. The baseline assessment of the present health status of the samples was assessed. In this menstrual history, Family history of consanguineous marriage, Family history of high risk pregnancy, Family health history was collected. The hemoglobin was checked with the help of Sahelis Hemoglobinometer. Body Mass Index was also calculated with their respective height and weight. The knowledge regarding awareness on preconception care was assessed by structured knowledge questionnaire. Informational booklet regarding preconception care after marriage was given to the samples after the knowledge assessment to improve the knowledge. Data analysis was done by using descriptive and inferential statistics.
MAJOR FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
I. Findings related to Demographic Variables:
Out of 100 samples
- Majority of the Students:67% were in the age group 20-22years
- Majority of the Students: 53% were postgraduates
- Majority of the students: 80% belong to nuclear family
- Family monthly income of the students: 51% were between ` 2001-6000.
- Majority of the students were living in rural area: 52%
- Majority of the students were Hindu: 96%
II. Findings related to baseline assessment of the present health status of the samples:
- Majority of the samples 35% attained menarche in the age of 14 years
- Regarding menstruation 73% was having regular menstruation.
- With regard to the discomfort before menstruation 43%were having discomfort before menstruation
- Regarding pain during menstruation 25%was having pain during menstruation.
- Majority of the students 33% parents had consanguineous marriage
- Regarding Family history of high risk pregnancy 34% majority of the student’s mother/sister had the history of vomiting during pregnancy.
- Majority of the samples 25%had the family health history of hypertension
- Regarding body Mass Index 8% were having normal body Mass Index (18.5-24.9kg/m2), 37% were underweight (<18.5kg/m2) and 55%were overweight (25-29.9kg/m2).
- With regard to the hemoglobin level measurement 25%were having normal Hemoglobin level (11-12mg/dl), 71% were moderate anemic (9-10mg/dl) and 4% were severe anemic (<8mg/dl).
III. Findings related to Level of awareness regarding preconception care:
Out of 100 samples 37% were having inadequate knowledge regarding preconception care, 61% having moderate knowledge and 2%were having adequate knowledge. The mean score percentage is 49.3 which was revealed that the samples had inadequate knowledge regarding preconception care.
IV. Findings related to association with Demographic Variables:
- There was no significant association with the level of knowledge regarding preconception and their age [Ï‡2 value=5.0358, Table value = 9.48 and df = 4 at 0.05 level].
- There was no significant association with the level of knowledge regarding preconception and their education [Ï‡2 value=1.817, Table value = 5.99 and df = 2 at 0.05 level]
- There was no significant association with the level of knowledge regarding preconception and their type of family [Ï‡2 value=0.525, Table value = 5.99 and df = 2 at 0.05 level].
- There was no significant association with the level of knowledge regarding preconception and their family monthly income[Ï‡2 value=6.8159, Table value = 9.49 and df = 4 at 0.05 level]
- There was no significant association with the level of knowledge regarding preconception and their religion [Ï‡2 value=0.424, Table value = 5.99 and df = 2 at 0.05 level]
- There was significant association with the level of knowledge regarding preconception and their area of residence [Ï‡2 value=10.2016, Table value =.9.49 and df = 4 at 0.05 level]
V. Findings related to responses of the samples after reading the booklet:
The responses of the samples after reading the Informational Booklet was assessed, which showed that out of 100 samples, all the samples have read the Informational Booklet. 89 samples really felt that the booklet was highly useful and remaining 11 felt even though it was used further teaching could have more benefitted them. Most useful section felt by the samples were consumption of balanced diet 45%, maintaining normal body weight 61%, folic acid supplementation 78% and stress reduction 27%.
The findings of the study have implication in various areas of Nursing practice, Nursing Education, Nursing Administration & Nursing research.
Nurses are involved in all phases of preconception care like prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of anemia and other health related issues before pregnancy. Preconception care is a systematic medical supervision of women before pregnancy. It is a preventive branch of Obstetrics and aims at preserving the physiologic aspect before pregnancy. The preconception care avoids as well as detects any complication before pregnancy at the earliest. Nurses can teach the public to engage in health promotion and health check up to prevent further complication.
The study implicates the existing knowledge gap and felt needs for information regarding preconception care, management of anemia and other health related issues among women before pregnancy. It offers an excellent opportunity to the public health nurse, auxillary nurse, the midwives, all health workers in urban and rural areas to give information and education in order to promote positive attitude among women about preconception care.
Maternal and Child Health care is the primary goal for both in Obstetric and Gynecological Nursing and Community Health Nursing. In nursing schools, Colleges and other Nursing Educational Institutions the students should be adequately prepared to provide mass health education programme to improve level of knowledge regarding preconception care. This will help to reduce the health related problem in concern with the pregnancy.
The curriculum should add various practical programmes to make the student more aware about the importance of screening and prevention of anemia and other health related issues in the early period itself. The findings of the study will help the Nurses, those who are working in teaching area to prepare the students to acquire more knowledge regarding preconception care. The nurse educators must prepare students in both diploma °ree levels for educating regarding preconception care. It will help the students to understand the importance of preconception care. Teaching about preconception care provides an opportunity to start an open discussion on doubts regarding it. Nursing students should be equipped with upto date knowledge regarding preconception care. This will help in reducing the number of pregnancy related issues in future.
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Nursing administration take care initiation in creating policies & plans in providing education regarding preconception care and its practices to the women before pregnancy. Health professionals are playing vital role in providing education to the students. Nursing personnel should be prepared to take leadership role in educating the Nurses, Community health workers& other health personnel to provide health education regarding preconception care to the women. The nurse administrator should take adequate steps in formulating policies and standing protocols in providing patient education regarding preconception care
Nurse administer have to make care plan according to needs of people. The study findings will help the nurse administrators to conduct regular health education programme to prepare the staff nurses. The nurse administrator should organize continuing education programme or in service education for staff nurse regarding preconception care.
The study revealed that the mean score percentage was 49.3 which revealed that the samples were having inadequate knowledge regarding preconception care. It emphasizes a great need for research in creating awareness regarding preconception care among the unmarried students after marriage. There is a need to conduct longitudinal studies to find out the level of awareness regarding preconception care. In India the studies regarding preconception care was very less. Such study should be done to improve the knowledge of the women and to have the better future.
So the findings of the study can be utilized or motivated for conducting further research in future to improve the level of knowledge regarding preconception care.
Generalisation of the study was limited in the samples only.
- A similar study can be conducted with large number of samples.
- A similar study can be conducted with control group and experimental group
- A interventional study can also be conducted to know the effectiveness of measures used to improve the knowledge regarding preconception care
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