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Am J Prev Med. 2008 Dec;35(6):568-71. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.06.034.

Computerized counseling for folate knowledge and use: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Center for Research on Health Care-Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA. schwarzeb@upmc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Periconception folate supplementation significantly reduces the risk of neural-tube defects, but few U.S. women start folate supplementation before pregnancy, and the amount of clinician time available to counsel patients about folate is limited. This study evaluated whether computer-assisted counseling and the provision of free folate tablets increases women's knowledge and use of folate supplements.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial; follow-up began 6 months after enrollment and was completed on average 7 months after enrollment.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 446 women, aged 18-45 years, were recruited from two urgent care clinics in San Francisco from March to July 2005 (data collection was completed in 2006; data were analyzed in 2007).

INTERVENTION:

Participants received a 15-minute computerized educational session and 200 folate tablets.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary outcome was the knowledge that folate can prevent birth defects; secondary outcomes included the self-reported use of a folate supplement at follow-up.

RESULTS:

At follow-up, women in the intervention group were more likely to know that folate prevents birth defects (46% vs 27%, relative risk [RR]=1.72, 95% CI=1.32, 2.23); to know that folate is most important in early pregnancy (36% vs 17%, RR=2.11, 95% CI=1.50, 2.97); and to report the recent use of a folate supplement (32% vs 21%, RR=1.54, 95% CI=1.12, 2.13).

CONCLUSIONS:

A one-time, brief, computerized counseling session about folate with the provision of free folate tablets increased the knowledge and use of folate supplements among women > or =6 months later.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

NCT00177515.

Comment in

PMID:
19000845
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2593421
Free PMC Article

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