Saturday, June 22, 2024

Exploring Preconception Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults

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The transition from childhood to adulthood encompasses a crucial phase known as preconception, a period that significantly influences the health outcomes of both the woman and her future offspring. Despite its importance, the prepregnancy phase, particularly for adolescents and young adults, remains under-researched. Addressing this gap, a new study aims to map and evaluate existing preconception interventions that could potentially enhance health outcomes for individuals aged 10 to 25 years and their babies.

Study Objective and Methodology

This study sets out to identify, map, and describe the empirical evidence surrounding preconception interventions for adolescents and young adults. The researchers will undertake an evidence gap map (EGM) activity, strictly adhering to Campbell guidelines. Electronic databases such as MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library will be utilized to source relevant interventional studies and reviews. The focus will be on evaluating the impact of these interventions on adverse maternal, perinatal, and child health outcomes.

Each study identified will undergo a rigorous screening process using Covidence software, and will then be coded with the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information (EPPI) Reviewer software. Tools such as the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool 2.0 and the Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews-2 (AMSTAR-2) will be employed to assess the quality of the included studies. Ultimately, a 2D graphical EGM will be created with the EPPI Mapper software to visually represent the findings.

Initial Findings and Expected Outcomes

The EGM initiative commenced in July 2023. From the electronic searches, 131,031 publications were identified post-deduplication, and after thorough full-text screening, 18 studies encompassing 124 papers were included in the review. The team aims to submit their findings to a peer-reviewed journal, with the project expected to conclude by May 2024.

By systematically mapping the existing evidence, the study hopes to spotlight areas in need of further investigation and guide the allocation of research funding. Additionally, the findings may suggest actionable interventions that could improve health outcomes for mothers and children.

Key Insights for Researchers and Policymakers

– Utilize the 2D graphical EGM for visual and comprehensive understanding of existing preconception interventions.

– Employ the EPPI Reviewer software for systematic coding and assessment of studies.

– Integrate the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool and AMSTAR-2 for robust quality evaluation.

– Leverage findings to prioritize future research and optimize the allocation of funding resources.

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The findings of this study hold promise for shaping future research priorities and guiding funding decisions. By identifying effective preconception interventions, it aims to contribute to the improvement of maternal, perinatal, and child health outcomes.

Original Article: JMIR Res Protoc. 2024 May 24;13:e56052. doi: 10.2196/56052.

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