Survey of Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses' attitudes and practice relating to preconception health promotion

Karin Hammarberg, Leanne Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental factors including poor nutrition, obesity, smoking, exposure to toxins and drug and alcohol use at the time of conception can adversely affect the future health of the offspring. As primary health care (PHC) professionals who interact with women of reproductive age, Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses (MCaFHNs) are ideally placed to promote preconception health to women who want another child. The aim of this study was to assess MCaFHNs attitudes towards preconception health promotion, whether and under what circumstances they talk to their families about this, and what might help them start a conversation about preconception health. Of the 192 respondents, most (65%) agreed it is part of the MCaFHNs role to promote preconception health but only one in eight (13%) felt very confident that they knew as much as they needed and less than half (46%) 'routinely' or 'sometimes' promoted preconception health in their clinical practice. Almost all agreed that more information and education on the topic would increase their confidence to discuss preconception health. The findings suggest that, with adequate educational and structural support, most MCaFHNs are willing to deliver preconception health promotion in their clinical practice. As most new mothers access MCaFHNs, the potential health benefits of this are considerable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019


  • environmental factors
  • health promotion
  • pregnancy health
  • primary care

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