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Defining preconception: exploring the concept of a preconception population

Hill, B; Hall, J; Skouteris, H; Currie, S; (2020) Defining preconception: exploring the concept of a preconception population. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , 20 , Article 280. 10.1186/s12884-020-02973-1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Health prior to conception can significantly impact offspring health, however, a clear definition of the attributes of the preconception population is currently lacking. We aimed to use existing literature to explore the concept and attributes of a preconception population by: [1] identifying characteristics and research recruitment methods; and [2] generating an attribute-based working definition of a preconception population. Methods: A rapid review of current literature using CINAHL and the subject heading ‘pre-pregnancy care’ was conducted (Stage 1). Data extracted included definitions of preconception, participant inclusion/exclusion criteria, participant characteristics, and recruitment methods. Stage 2 involved a wider search of relevant publications beyond peer-reviewed literature followed by a concept analysis of the phrase “preconception population” applying Walker and Avant’s framework (Stage 2). Results: Twenty-three papers (19 studies) were included in Stage 1. “Preconception” was explicitly defined in one study. Twelve studies specified participants must be planning a pregnancy. Stage 2 included 33 publications. Four key perspectives for the concept of the preconception population were derived: [1] intentional; [2] potential; [3] public health; and [4] life course. Conclusions: Adopting these perspectives may allow researchers to accurately define, identify and recruit preconception populations and to develop interventions that are appropriately broad or tailored depending on population needs. We hope the definitions will facilitate research with this population and will subsequently improve the wellbeing of preconception men and women, which is essential to ensuring the health of future generations.

Type: Article
Title: Defining preconception: exploring the concept of a preconception population
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12884-020-02973-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-020-02973-1
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Preconception, Pregnancy intention, Pregnancy planning, Public health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Reproductive Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098014
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