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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 112-117

Health-care providers' knowledge about prenatal screening: A study in the North of Iran

1 Student Research Committee, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
2 Sexual and Reproductive Health Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
3 Health Sciences Research Center, Addiction Institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
4 Diabetic Research Center, Cancer institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Zohreh Shahhosseini
Vesal Street, Amir Mazandarani Boulevard, Sari, Mazandaran Province
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nms.nms_28_18

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Background: Prenatal screening for birth defects is turning into a main component of prenatal care. The success of prenatal screening programs greatly depends on health-care providers' knowledge about it. Objectives: This study aimed to assess health-care providers' knowledge about prenatal screening. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on June–October 2016 in Sari, a large city in the North of Iran. A sample of 472 obstetricians, general physicians, and midwives was recruited through quota and convenience sampling. Data on participants' knowledge about prenatal screening were collected through a 35-item self-administered knowledge questionnaire which contained the four domains of time, technique, legal issues, and follow-up assessment. The total score of the questionnaire could range from 0 to 35, with higher scores representing greater knowledge. Descriptive statistics measures, Mann–Whitney U-test and Kruskal–Wallis test, Spearman's correlation analysis, and multiple linear regression were used to analyze the data. Results: The mean score of participants' knowledge about prenatal screening was 18.34 ± 9.34. The lowest and the highest mean scores of knowledge were obtained by obstetricians and general physicians, respectively (P < 0.001). The number of participants who correctly answered more than half of the questions of the knowledge questionnaire was 266 (56.35%) for the time domain, 259 (54.87%) for the technique domain, 237 (50.21%) for the legal issues domain, and 200 (42.37%) for the follow-up assessment domain. Regression analysis revealed that the significant predictors of prenatal screening knowledge were participants' profession, employment setting, and history of providing screening-related counseling (R2 = 0.515; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Health-care providers have limited knowledge about prenatal screening. Thus, well-designed need-based educational interventions are needed to fulfill their educational needs and advance their knowledge about prenatal screening.

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