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Impact of Early Preeclampsia Prediction on Medication Adherence and Behavior Change: A Survey of Pregnant and Recently Delivered Individuals

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03/21/2024
bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com

Behavior change and medication adherence represent potential barriers to optimal prevention of pregnancy complications including preeclampsia. We sought to evaluate baseline sentiments on pregnancy care and medication amenability, and how these measures would be impacted by early predictive testing for preeclampsia.

Methods

We developed a digital survey to query participants’ baseline sentiments on pregnancy care, knowledge about pregnancy complications, and views on a hypothetical test to predict preeclampsia. The survey was administered online to pregnant and recently-delivered individuals in the United States. Survey data were analyzed using pooled two-sample proportion z-tests with adjustment for multiple comparisons.

Results

One thousand and twenty-two people completed the survey. 84% reported they were satisfied with their pregnancy care. Self-assessed knowledge about preeclampsia was high, with 75% of respondents reporting they have a “good understanding” of preeclampsia, but measured knowledge was low, with only 10% able to identify five common signs/symptoms of preeclampsia. Notably, 40% of participants with prior preeclampsia believed they were at average or below-average risk for recurrence. 91% of participants desired early pregnancy predictive testing for preeclampsia. If found to be at high risk for preeclampsia, 88% reported they would be more motivated to follow their provider’s medication recommendations and 94% reported they would desire home blood pressure monitoring. Increased motivation to follow clinicians’ medication and monitoring recommendations was observed across the full spectrum of medication amenability. Individuals who are more medication-hesitant still reported high rates of motivation to change behavior and adhere to medication recommendations if predictive testing showed a high risk of preeclampsia. Importantly, a high proportion of medication-hesitant individuals reported that if a predictive test demonstrated they were at high risk of preeclampsia, they would feel more motivated to take medications (83.0%) and aspirin (75.9%) if recommended.

Conclusion

While satisfaction with care is high, participants desire more information about their pregnancy health, would value predictive testing for preeclampsia, and report they would act on this information. Improved detection of at-risk individuals through objective testing combined with increased adherence to their recommended care plan may be an important step to remedy the growing gap in prevention.

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Schedule27 May 2024