Interconception Care for Mothers During Well-Child Visits With Family Physicians: An IMPLICIT Network Study

Ann Fam Med. 2016 Jul;14(4):350-5. doi: 10.1370/afm.1933.


Purpose: Interconception care (ICC) is recommended to improve birth outcomes by targeting maternal risk factors, but little is known about its implementation. We evaluated the frequency and nature of ICC delivered to mothers at well-child visits and maternal receptivity to these practices.

Methods: We surveyed a convenience sample of mothers accompanying their child to well-child visits at family medicine academic practices in the IMPLICIT (Interventions to Minimize Preterm and Low Birth Weight Infants Through Continuous Improvement Techniques) Network. Health history, behaviors, and the frequency of the child's physician addressing maternal depression, tobacco use, family planning, and folic acid supplementation were assessed, along with maternal receptivity to advice.

Results: Three-quarters of the 658 respondents shared a medical home with their child. Overall, 17% of respondents reported a previous preterm birth, 19% reported a history of depression, 25% were smoking, 26% were not using contraception, and 58% were not taking folic acid. Regarding advice, 80% of mothers who smoked were counseled to quit, 59% reported depression screening, 71% discussed contraception, and 44% discussed folic acid. Screening for depression and family planning was more likely when the mother and child shared a medical home (P <.05). Most mothers, nearly 95%, were willing to accept health advice from their child's physician regardless of whether a medical home was shared (P >.05).

Conclusions: Family physicians provide key elements of ICC at well-child visits, and mothers are highly receptive to advice from their child's physician even if they receive primary care elsewhere. Routine integration of ICC at these visits may provide an opportunity to reduce maternal risk factors for adverse subsequent birth outcomes.

Keywords: continuity of patient care; contraception; depression; folic acid; infant; mothers; practice-based research; preconception care; pregnancy; premature birth; primary care; smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Planning Services / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Preconception Care / organization & administration*
  • Preconception Care / standards
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires