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Matern Child Nutr. 2018 Oct;14(4):e12608. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12608. Epub 2018 Apr 15.

Ghanaian parents' perceptions of pre and postnatal nutrient supplements and their effects.

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Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, USA.
Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, USA.
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
Intake-Center for Dietary Assessment, FHI 360, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA.
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, USA.


Small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements (SQ-LNS) have been studied in efficacy and effectiveness trials, but little is known about how parents perceive the products and their effects. In a randomised trial in Ghana, efficacy of SQ-LNS provided to women during pregnancy and the first 6 months postpartum and to their children from 6 to 18 months of age was assessed by comparison with iron-folic acid (IFA) capsules and multiple micronutrient (MMN) capsules provided to women. In a follow-up study conducted when the index children from the original trial were between 4 and 6 years of age, we used survey-based methods to assess retrospective and current parental perceptions of nutrient supplements generally and of SQ-LNS and their effects compared with perceptions IFA and MMN capsules. Most parents perceived that the assigned supplements (SQ-LNS, IFA, or MMN) positively impacted the mother during pregnancy (approximately 89% of both mothers and fathers) and during lactation (84% of mothers and 86% of fathers). Almost all (≥90%) of mothers and fathers perceived that the assigned supplement positively impacted the index child and expected continued positive impacts on the child's health and human capital into the future. A smaller percentage of parents perceived negative impacts of the supplements (7%-17% of mothers and 4%-12% of fathers). Perceptions of positive impacts and of negative impacts did not differ by intervention group. The results suggest that similar populations would likely be receptive to programs to deliver SQ-LNS or micronutrient capsules.


Ghana; child nutrition; maternal nutrition; multiple micronutrients; perceptions; small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements

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