Assessing Health Care Providers’ Knowledge and Practices of Nutrition during Pregnancy in Lebanon: A Cross-Sectional Study

Medicina (Kaunas). 2023 Aug 16;59(8):1471. doi: 10.3390/medicina59081471.


Background and objectives: Health care professionals (HCPs) are well-positioned to discuss healthy behaviors during pregnancy, but the published research of prenatal healthcare providers’ knowledge about the significance of nutrition during pregnancy in Lebanon is scarce. The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Lebanese prenatal healthcare providers towards nutrition during pregnancy. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study using an online questionnaire was conducted. Health care providers were contacted by phone and email to participate in the online survey. A list of all clinics providing antenatal health services was obtained from the Order of Physicians and the Order of Midwives. A multistage random sample was selected. In the first stage, it was stratified per region (Beirut center or suburbs, and the southern region). In the second phase, it was stratified per clinic type (private, primary healthcare center, or hospital). Gynecologists and midwives who are members of the Order of Physicians and the Order of Midwives (n = 1333), were included. Results: Two-hundred and six responses (55% males) were obtained. Approximately 44% of the HCP were aged 50 and older, and 68.4% had more than 10 years of work experience. HCPs from Beirut represented 41.3% of the respondents. Eighty-eight percent of the HCPs were physicians, and 11% were midwives. The majority of the participants considered nutrition during pregnancy to be very important. Furthermore, half of these participants considered their position in delivering nutrition information as very significant. Most of the respondents reported that they provide nutrition advice to pregnant women, and they also received nutrition education during their profession. However, they perceived their nutrition knowledge as inadequate. Conclusion: Health care providers’ attitude towards the importance of maternal nutrition and their confidence in talking about nutrition-related topics with pregnant women were positive despite the lack of knowledge in several areas related to nutrition during pregnancy. Therefore, there is a need for continuing nutrition education for health care providers and the implementation of nutrition education programs to achieve better health outcomes.

PMID:37629760 | PMC:PMC10456354 | DOI:10.3390/medicina59081471


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