Objectives: to determine the effectiveness of a health information package in terms of empowering the pregnant women to modify their health-care behaviour and take appropriate action to combat anaemia in pregnancy. Design: the study was conceptualized based on Rosenstock and Becker's health belief model. A quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design was used. The sample consists of 225 anaemic pregnant women randomly allocated in experimental (n=75), control group A (n=75) and control group B (n=75). The health seeking behaviour outcome measure included knowledge regarding anaemia, food selection ability, increase in haemoglobin level and compliance to iron supplementation. Intervention was a validated planned educational programme with visual aids and iron supplementation. Findings: the results show the mean gain of knowledge scores of experimental group was comparatively higher and control groups A and B showed that F ratio was (F(2,190)=11.910, p<0.01) indicating that the pregnant women learned more about anaemia prevention than others. With regard to food selection ability scores of experimental, control groups A and B the F ratio was also significant (F(2,190)=20.92, p<0.01). Nearly 61.2% of the subjects in experimental group became non-anaemic after the intervention when compared to control group A. This indicated that inspite of iron supplementation received by the three groups health education contributed significantly in modifying their health seeking behaviour and their perception about significance of anaemia has a problem. Conclusion: developing countries still face the critical problem of anaemia in pregnancy. These are the socio-cultural priority problems that demand immediate attention by the policy makers and health professionals. The national anaemia control programme focuses on iron supplementation, but nutritional education and supervision of iron supplementation has failed in different regions. The study implies that economic empowerment; strengthening health literacy through planned educational programs will definitely improve the health behaviour of individual and community at large.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Maternity and Midwifery