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Listeriosis in Pregnancy: Practitioners' Food Safety Counselling Practices to Pregnant Women

      Abstract

      Objective

      The relative risk of invasive listeriosis in pregnant women is approximately 20 times greater than the general population, and listeriosis during pregnancy can have negative consequences for pregnant women, their fetuses, and their newborns. Health care providers are valuable sources of information, but published data suggest that most providers are unaware of the risk factors for listeriosis or its propensity for pregnant women, and they do not counsel their pregnant patients about risks. The objective of this study was to determine knowledge and practices of Canadian perinatal care providers on food safety counselling to pregnant women.

      Methods

      An anonymous bilingual online questionnaire that sought information about awareness, knowledge of risk factors, practices for counselling pregnant women, and practitioners' learning needs with regard to listeriosis was sent to 3199 nurses, midwives, family physicians, and obstetrician/gynaecologists in Canada, with a response rate of 24.4%.

      Results

      Most respondents had heard of listeriosis, provided prenatal care, and attended deliveries. Rates of awareness of listeriosis were the same among professions and were independent of years in practice, whether practice was urban or rural, and province.
      One third of the respondents (35.7%) were aware that listeriosis was more common in pregnant women; a minority (18.7%) correctly identified the incubation period for listeriosis and the stage in pregnancy in which women are at highest risk (30.4%).
      Those respondents who did not counsel women about the risks of listeriosis during pregnancy reported a lack of information or knowledge as the main reason.

      Conclusion

      Advising pregnant women about behaviours and lifestyle habits to prevent infectious diseases remains important, and information about preventive practices needs to be complete and adequate. The health care providers who participated in this study did express a clear need for information related to food safety during pregnancy and listeriosis, as supported by their lack of knowledge in some areas. If that lack is remedied, the knowledge gained could improve counselling practices.

      Résumé

      Objectif

      Les femmes enceintes courent un risque de listériose invasive 20 plus élevé que la population générale. La listériose pendant la grossesse peut avoir de graves conséquences pour la femme, le fœtus et le nouveau-né. Les fournisseurs de soins sont de précieuses sources d'information pour les patientes. Toutefois, d'après les données publiées, la plupart d'entre eux ignorent les facteurs de risque de la listériose, ne savent pas qu'elle touche plus souvent les femmes enceintes et ne conseillent pas ces dernières sur les risques qu'elles courent. Cette étude avait pour but d'évaluer les connaissances et les pratiques des fournisseurs de soins périnataux en ce qui concerne la prestation de conseils sur la salubrité alimentaire aux femmes enceintes.

      Méthodologie

      Nous avons envoyé un questionnaire bilingue anonyme en ligne à 3 199 infirmières, sages-femmes, médecins de famille et obstétriciens-gynécologues canadiens afin de recueillir des renseignements sur leur sensibilisation, leur connaissance des facteurs de risque, leurs pratiques de prestation de conseils et leurs besoins d'apprentissage en matière de listériose. Le taux de réponse a été de 24,4 %.

      Résultats

      La plupart des répondants avaient déjà entendu parler de la listériose, fournissaient des soins prénataux et participaient à des accouchements. Le taux de sensibilisation était le même d'une profession à l'autre, et ne variait pas selon le nombre d'années, le lieu de pratique (milieu urbain ou rural) ou la province. Le tiers des répondants (35,7 %) savaient que la listériose touche plus souvent les femmes enceintes; une minorité connaissait la période d'incubation de la listériose (18,7 %) et le stade de la grossesse où les femmes courent le plus grand risque (30,4 %). La principale raison pour laquelle les répondants ne conseillaient pas les femmes sur les risques de la listériose pendant la grossesse était le manque de renseignements ou de connaissances.

      Conclusion

      Il demeure important de conseiller les femmes enceintes sur les comportements et les habitudes à adopter pour prévenir les maladies infectieuses, et les renseignements donnés doivent être complets et adéquats. Les fournisseurs de soins qui ont participé à cette étude avaient manifestement besoin de renseignements sur la listériose et la salubrité alimentaire pendant la grossesse, comme en témoigne leur manque de connaissances à certains égards. Combler les lacunes dans les connaissances pourrait améliorer les pratiques de prestations de conseils.

      Key Words

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