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Ling ZJ, Lian WB, Ho SKY, Yeo CL
Correspondence: Dr Lian Wee Bin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Current medical advances have increased the survival rate of the premature infant with its complications. Risk factors for prematurity include maternal diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking and alcohol intake.
Methods A true/false questionnaire survey focusing on risk factors, outcomes/follow-up and costs was administered to adults attending a parenting-related public forum. One point was awarded per correct answer. Entire prematurity knowledge and section T-scores were calculated, (a pass mark was defined as at least 50 percent for each T-score). Missing answers and affected T-scores were considered invalid.
Results There were 81 respondents: predominantly within 21–40 years of age, Chinese, female, public-housing dwellers, first-time parents-to-be and with graduate or higher-level qualifications. A pass in entire and prematurity knowledge T-scores was achieved in 69 percent (median 13 [range 3–21]) and 62 percent (median 12 [range 0–19]) respectively. A pass in section T-scores on risk factors, outcomes and costs was achieved in 62, 53 and 75 percent, respectively. Awareness of risks and outcomes did not correlate with awareness of costs. Logistic regression did not reveal any factors contributing to a pass or higher T-scores.
Conclusion Although the majority achieved a pass in all T-scores, general knowledge among this childbearing group was deemed inadequate by the median scores. As survival improves, awareness of prematurity and its risks has to be improved, with a target to reduce the incidence of prematurity and to support those infants who require resource-intensive follow-up.
Keywords: antenatal care, infants, neonatal risk factors, parental knowledge, preterm labour
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(3): 270-277