Preconception risk factors and interventions to prevent adverse maternal, perinatal, and child health outcomes.

Session Type
Understanding and using evidence
Padhani ZA1, Avery J1, Tessema G2, Mirzaei Damabi N1, Meherali S3, Boyle J4, Lassi Z1
1University of Adelaide, Australia
2Curtin University, Australia
3University of Alberta, Canada
4Monash University, Australia

Background Preconception period - time prior to pregnancy - allows to explore and intervene how women’s health conditions and certain risk factors could affect the mother and newborn’s health, once she becomes pregnant. Very few studies have been conducted on the adolescents and young women, and relatively little is known about the factors underlying the continued increase in the adverse outcomes. This period offers an excellent opportunity to identify several health-risks and prevent adverse outcomes through designing preventive health interventions and strategies that promote maternal and child health. Objective The aim of this study was to identify, map, and describe the existing empirical evidence on preconception risk factors and interventions implemented to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young women (aged 10-24 years) and their children. Method We conducted an evidence gap map (EGM) activity, including reviewing relevant literature and landscape analysis of maternal, and perinatal outcomes. The EGM was populated by systematically searching online databases such as Medline, Embase, Emcare, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL. This was followed by title/abstract screening, full-text screening, and data extraction of all the relevant published systematic reviews and empirical studies with no systematic reviews. All included studies were coded based on study design, age, context, geography, setting, risk factor, intervention, delivery platforms, and outcomes using EPPI-Mapper software. A graphical EGM was developed based on preconception risk factors, interventions, and maternal and perinatal outcomes. Results The EGM identified the research gaps in preconception interventions and risk factors among adolescents and young women, as there were many studies which focused on preconception health of women of reproductive age, as an overall. The EGM identified research gaps in preconception risk factors such as overweight/obesity, tobacco/alcohol use, domestic violence, infections, poor oral health, and chronic diseases, and preconception interventions such as psychological and genetic counselling, nutrition supplementation, lifestyle modification, and behavioural interventions. Conclusion The findings of this study helped us identify and highlight research gaps on preconception risk factors and interventions in different contexts and geographic settings. It suggests policy implications to promote preventive health interventions and summarises findings that helps prioritise future areas of research.

Abstract for 2023 Cochrane conference_ZAP.pdf