Purpose: This study was conducted to determine the effect of counselling on preconception lifestyle and awareness about it in healthy women planning to get pregnant.
Methods: This study was conducted on 152 women aged 18-35 who planned to get pregnant within the next year. Using block randomization, the participants were assigned into a counselling and a control group (n = 76 per group). The intervention group attended six group counselling sessions, twice per week, over 3 weeks. The preconception lifestyle questionnaire and preconception lifestyle awareness questionnaire were completed by the participants before the intervention and 4 and 8 weeks after the intervention. The repeated measure ANOVA was used to analyse the data.
Results: The two groups were matching in terms of their sociodemographic characteristics and the baseline scores of preconception lifestyle and awareness about preconception lifestyle. The mean score of preconception lifestyle (adjusted mean difference = 0.17; 95% confidence interval = 0.13-0.21) and awareness about preconception lifestyle (7.8; 8.7-6.9) showed statistically significant improvements in the intervention group compared to the control group.
Conclusions: Preconception lifestyle group counselling is associated with increased awareness and improved lifestyle in women planning to get pregnant.
Keywords: Preconception; counselling; knowledge; lifestyle.