Preconception weight management: An untapped area of women's health

Skye McPhie, Helen Skouteris, Lynne Millar, Craig Olsson, Karen Campbell, Paige Van Der Pligt, Jodie Dodd, Briony Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to identify barriers to providing preconception weight management. Twenty health professionals participated in a semistructured phone interview regarding their beliefs on perceived barriers to providing preconception weight management. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and examined using thematic analysis to extract the key themes. Two themes were identified from the interviews: (1) barriers hindering women from accessing preconception weight management interventions (i.e. women's lack of awareness regarding the importance of preconception weight, and not being provided with weight management information or interventions by health professionals); and (2) barriers preventing health professionals from providing preconception weight management (i.e. an absence of implementation resources for preconception weight management, limited access to women of childbearing age who plan to conceive, and a high percentage of pregnancies being unplanned). There are significant client- and heath professional-based barriers to implementing preconception weight management. To begin to address these barriers, developing policy and preconception weight management programs based on evidence collected via a needs assessment, quantitative or mixed-method designs may be of benefit. Furthermore, these barriers are likely contributing to the paucity in research into preconception weight management services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • body weight
  • health personnel
  • health services
  • preconception care.

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