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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


MENDOZA-SASSI, Raúl A. et al. Evaluation of knowledge on prenatal care and pregnancy risk among women living in a peripheral area of Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.9, pp.2157-2166. ISSN 1678-4464.

The aim of this study was to assess knowledge on prenatal care and pregnancy risk among women in poor neighborhoods in the city of Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Data were collected using a cross-sectional design. A standard questionnaire was applied to all pregnant women from poor neighborhoods. Trained interviewers visited these women at home, covering demographic, socioeconomic, and reproductive data and knowledge concerning prenatal care and pregnancy risk factors. A total of 367 pregnant women were interviewed using non-random sampling. Except for urine tests and HIV testing, spontaneously reported as necessary, other procedures were reported by no more than 30% of the women. Digital vaginal examination, clinical breast examination, and Pap smear were reported by a maximum of 7% of the women. Only two-thirds felt that vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain were serious signs during gestation. Other signs and symptoms were reported by a maximum of one-third of the women. In conclusion, knowledge of prenatal tests and situations indicating serious risk fell far short of the desired levels. Improving this level of information in pregnant women could help reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality.

Keywords : Prenatal Care; Health Knowledge [Attitudes, Practice]; Maternal and Child Health; Poverty.

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