Preconceptional care: a systematic review of the current situation and recommendations for the future
general population, guidelines, preconceptional care, pregnancy outcome, prevention
Published online: Apr 05 2013
Objective: To review the current knowledge and implementation of preconceptional care (PCC) in the Western world, focusing both on health care workers and the general population, and to analyze pathways to disseminate the influence of preconceptional care on pregnancy outcome.
Methods: A systematic literature study was performed using OvidSP and Pubmed, searching for articles about PCC and its implementation, published between 1966 and October 2012. Only randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews dealing with PCC in the Western world were retained.
Results: Forty-six articles were identified for review. PCC might result in better pregnancy outcomes, including e.g. a reduction of congenital abnormalities. There are no proven disadvantages of PCC. Health care workers are in favor of the implementation of PCC, but claim that they don’t have enough knowledge to do so. The general population shows interest in receiving PCC. The implementation of PCC should be improved by e.g. the development of guidelines and checklists.
Conclusions: As PCC might improve pregnancy outcomes and is considered important by health care workers and the general population, its implementation should be improved, e.g. by the development of guidelines and checklists.