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Examination of Routine Use of Prenatal Weight Gain Charts as a Communication Tool for Providers

Abstract

Objectives In 2009 the IOM revised prenatal weight gain guidelines. The primary purpose of this pilot study was to assess if provider education and use of prenatal weight gain charts to track weight gain and counsel patients was associated with better patient and provider knowledge and communication about the guidelines. Methods A prospective non-randomized study conducted in four OB practices (two control, two intervention). Data sources included provider surveys (n = 16 intervention, 21 control), patient surveys (n = 332), and medical records. Intervention clinics received provider education on the IOM guidelines and used patient education materials and prenatal weight gain charts to track weight gain and as a counseling tool. Comparison clinics received no education and did not use the charts or patient education information. Results More patients at intervention clinics (92.3%) reported that a provider gave them advice about weight gain, compared to patients from comparison clinics (66.4%) (p < 0.001). Intervention patients were also more likely to report satisfaction discussions with their provider about weight gain (83.1 vs. 64.3%, p = 0.007). Intervention clinic patients were more likely to have knowledge of the guidelines indicated by 72.3% reporting a target weight gain amount within the guidelines versus 50.4% of comparison patients (p < 0.001). Conclusion Provider education and use of weight gain charts resulted in higher patient reported communication about weight gain from their provider, higher patient satisfaction with those discussions, and better knowledge of the appropriate target weight gain goals.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Abbott Northwestern Foundation for funding this study, Dr. Katherine Jacobs for helping get the project started, the staff of participating clinics for altering their workflow to incorporate the use of the weight gain charts and/or data collection, and Ann Jorgenson for her work entering data from surveys and abstracting data from the medical record.

Funding

This project was funded through a grant from the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation.

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Correspondence to Abbey C. Sidebottom.

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Aguilera, M., Sidebottom, A.C. & McCool, B.R. Examination of Routine Use of Prenatal Weight Gain Charts as a Communication Tool for Providers. Matern Child Health J 21, 1927–1938 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-017-2308-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-017-2308-x

Keywords

  • Prenatal weight gain
  • Patient education
  • Prenatal care
  • Provider communication