A comprehensive assessment of preconception health needs and interventions regarding women of childbearing age: a systematic review

Background. This systematic review summarizes the preconception health needs of women in childbearing age, necessary to be addressed to have an eventual safe and healthy pregnancy.
Methods. Web of Science, PubMed and Scopus were searched. We excluded studies involving women with reproductive system pathologies and referring to interconceptive or pregnancy period and non-empirical or only abstract studies. Two researchers independently performed the blind screening based on titles/abstracts and full-text and the quality assessment.
Results. Four major domains resulted from the thematic analysis: knowledge, behaviors and attitudes, health status and access to healthcare services. The most examined topics were knowledge and awareness on preconception health, folic acid assumption, tobacco and alcohol consumption, physical activity and healthy diet.
Conclusions. This review could assist healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, midwives) in guiding tailored counselling to women to provide the adequate level of preconception care and act as a reference to policymakers.

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