Background: The use of folic acid in the preconception stage can prevent neural tube defects if taken at the right time.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the intake of folic acid in the preconception period and its related knowledge among Iranian women.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 230 married women who had decided to become pregnant were selected from health centers using the multistage cluster sampling method in Urmia-Iran, in 2018. The data collection tool was a self-structured, valid, reliable questionnaire consisting of the following parts: women’s demographic data, use of folic acid, and knowledge regarding the use of folic acid and its related benefits. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS v21 software. A P value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: In this study, the mean age of the participants was 30.73±6.77 years. About 49 (21.3%) women used folic acid supplements in the correct way. The mean score of women's knowledge was 6.20 ± 2.15. The minimum and maximum scores for knowledge were 1-10. There was a statistically significant relationship between taking folic acid with the subject's knowledge about folic acid (p=0.035), family income (p=0.027), women's job (p=0.046), education level (p=0.001) and the number of children (p=0.026).
Conclusion: The study revealed that the status of taking folic acid among women and their knowledge concerning folic acid and its related importance were not satisfactory. This finding suggests that there is a need to give emphasis and deliver health education about preconception folic acid supplementation for women.
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