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Assessment of Anemia Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors among Pregnant Women in Sierra Leone.

ERIC Descriptors: Pregnancy; Females; Health Promotion; Health Services; Program Effectiveness; Health Behavior; Diseases; Foreign Countries; Marketing; Incidence; Comparative Analysis; Scores; Prenatal Care; Family Financial Resources; Prevention; Models; Therapy

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Introduction: Iron deficiency anemia prevalence of pregnant Sierra Leone women currently is reported to be 59.7%. Anemia is considered to be a direct cause of 3-7% of maternal deaths and an indirect cause of 20-40% of maternal deaths. This study explores knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of urban pregnant Sierra Leone women regarding anemia. Method: Hemoglobin levels were obtained from 171 pregnant women. Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of anemic pregnant women were compared to those without anemia. This mixed-method study was framed around the Modified Ecological Model for Health Behavior and Health Promotion. Results: Participants scored low (M = 64% correct) on a 10-item anemia knowledge questionnaire. Forty percent of participants provided erroneous information regarding improving iron status. Participants were likely to believe that anemia caused difficulty in pregnancy. Factors affecting anemia status include pica (chi[superscript 2] = 4.18; p = 0.041). Discussion: Findings from the study indicate that early prenatal intervention and financial security had a positive impact on anemia status, whereas pica, and misinformation about anemia prevention and treatment had a negative impact on participant anemia status. To address misinformation about anemia, the health services sector needs to incorporate health promotion strategies and social marketing principles that are based on socio-ecological theoretical models reflective of diverse populations. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)

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Article Details
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Author:M'Cormack, Fredanna A. D.; Drolet, Judy C.
Publication:Health Educator
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6SIER
Date:Dec 1, 2012
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