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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 109–112 | Cite as

Bias in Maternal Reports of Smoking During Pregnancy Associated With Fetal Distress

  • Matthew Wong
  • Gideon Koren
Article

Abstract

Background: Studies examining the adverse effects of smoking during pregnancy commonly use maternal reports. We hypothesized that if an adverse event occurred during pregnancy, women may underreport smoking. This study looked for bias in maternal report of smoking if fetal distress occurs.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively from patients attending The MotheRisk Program who smoked during pregnancy, and were categorized by delivery outcome, maternal and neonatal characteristics, and the raw number of cigarettes smoked per day during pregnancy reported at clinic and at follow-up. The difference between these two values was compared.

Results: 95 women had uneventful deliveries and 25 had fetal distress. Women who reported fetal distress decreased their report of smoking after delivery compared to their original report during pregnancy, whereas women with an uneventful labour did not (p=0.04).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that if an adverse pregnancy outcome occurs, mothers may tend to underreport their cigarette consumption.

Résumé

Contexte: Les études des effets néfastes du tabac pendant la grossesse emploient communément les déclarations des mères. Nous avons supposé qu’en cas de réaction adverse durant la grossesse, les femmes pourraient avoir tendance à minimiser le degré de leur tabagisme. Notre étude visait à détecter un biais dans les déclarations, par les mères, de leur utilisation du tabac en cas de détresse foetale.

Méthode: Nous avons recueilli des données à des fins prospectives auprès de patientes du programme MotheRisk qui fumaient pendant leur grossesse, puis classé ces données en fonction du résultat de l’accouchement, des caractéristiques de la mère et du nouveau-né, ainsi que du nombre de cigarettes fumées par jour pendant la grossesse, selon les déclarations des mères à la clinique et lors du suivi. Nous avons ensuite comparé les écarts entre ces deux derniers chiffres.

Résultats: 95 femmes ont signalé un accouchement sans problème, et 25 un accouchement avec détresse foetale. Ces dernières ont fait état d’une moindre utilisation de la cigarette après l’accouchement que durant la grossesse. Pour les femmes ayant accouché sans problème, le degré de tabagisme déclaré est resté le même.

Conclusions: Nos résultats suggèrent que lorsqu’une réaction adverse se manifeste à l’issue d’une grossesse, les mères auraient tendance à minimiser leur degré de tabagisme.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Wong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gideon Koren
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.The Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.The Division of Clinical Pharmacology and ToxicologyThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada
  3. 3.The MotheRisk ProgramThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada
  4. 4.The Departments of Pediatrics, Pharmacology, and MedicineUniversity of TorontoCanada

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