Preconception Care in a Remote Aboriginal Community Context: What, When and by Whom?

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Abstract: Preconception care (PCC) is acknowledged as a vital preventive health measure aiming to promote health today and for subsequent generations. We aimed to describe the content and context of PCC delivery in a very remote Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service setting. A retrospective audit was undertaken to identify what PCC was delivered between 2011 and 2018 to 127 Aboriginal women who had at least one pregnancy during this period. Of 177 confirmed pregnancies, 121 had received PCC prior to the pregnancy. Sexually transmissible infection screening (71%) was the most common care delivered, followed by folic acid prescription (57%) and smoking cessation support (43%). Younger women received PCC less often, particularly
screening for modifiable pregnancy risk factors. Rates of prediabetes/diabetes, albuminuria, overweight/obesity and smoking were high amongst those screened (48%–60%). PCC was usually patient-initiated and increased significantly over the audit period. Presentation for antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy was high at 73%. Opportunities to increase PCC delivery include integration with routine health checks, pregnancy tests and chronic disease programs. PCC
programs codesigned with young people are also recommended. All primary care providers should be supported and assisted to provide opportunistic PCC and health promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3702
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2020


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