August 2nd, 2021

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Preconception Counseling Among Diabetic Women by Primary Health Care Physicians: Shedding Some Light on Practice
Authors:  Reem A. Aldhahi, M.B.B.S., Abdullah A. Alrasheed, M.B.B.S., Khaled K. Aldossari, M.B.B.S., Turky H. Almigbal, M.B.B.S., and Mohammed A. Batais, M.B.B.S.
  OBJECTIVE: To assess primary health care physicians’ knowledge, practice, and awareness regarding preconception counseling (PCC) among diabetic women.

STUDY DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study conducted using a self-administered questionnaire. It was distributed among primary health care physicians in 4 tertiary centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between November 2018 and February 2019.

RESULTS: A total of 295 physicians completed the survey; the response rate was 96.7%. Most (73.2%) of the responders had poor knowledge about PCC among women with diabetes, while only 26.7% had acceptable knowledge. Most (63.4%) physicians rated their familiarity with PCC as average and above, while 36.6% rated their familiarity as below average. PCC was rare (43.4%). Lack of knowledge regarding PCC among diabetic women and lack of time during clinic hours were the two main barriers to practicing PCC (67.8% and 67.4%, respectively). A total of 54.2% of physicians were aware of the recommendations for PCC among diabetic women, and only 27.6% were familiar with a specific guideline addressing this issue. Statistically significant differences were found between physicians’ mean knowledge score and their age, level of training, and years in practice.

CONCLUSION: A significant deficit was discovered in the knowledge, practice, and awareness of PCC among diabetic women in primary health care physicians in Riyadh. This highlights the need for extensive educational programs and workshops to improve physicians’ knowledge and counseling techniques.
Keywords:  diabetic mellitus, primary health care physicians, preconception counseling, knowledge
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