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Journal of Obstrectic Anaesthesia and Critical Care
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 37-42

Maternal knowledge of the impact of obesity on complications relevant to obstetric anesthetic care

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, North Shore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
2 Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Queensland, Australia
3 Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Western, Australia
4 Biostatistics and Research Design Unit, Women and Infants Research Foundation, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Laura F McDermott
Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, HERSTON, QLD, 4006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4472.194295

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Background: The number of overweight adults in Australia has more than doubled in 20 years and 50% of pregnant women in Australia are overweight. This study investigated whether pregnant women are aware of the peripartum obstetric and anesthetic risks conferred by obesity. Methods: A sample of 180 antenatal women attending an obstetric tertiary referral hospital were surveyed to identify the level of knowledge about the effect of obesity on medical, obstetric, and anesthetic outcomes, using a 23-item questionnaire. Correct responses were expressed as a percentage and comparisons, based on maternal characteristics including body mass index (BMI), performed using Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests for continuous outcomes and the Chi-square test for categorical outcomes. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the maternal characteristics predictive of scores below the 50th percentile. Results: The median percentage of correct answers for all participants was 39% (interquartile range: 30–52%). More correct responses were obtained to questions about medical and obstetric complications. pre-pregnancy BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, nulliparity, and no tertiary education were significant predictors of scores below the 50th percentile in the survey. Knowledge of the effects of obesity on anesthetic complications did not appear to be influenced by maternal age, ethnicity, or planned mode of delivery. Conclusion: The median number of correct answers was less than half, with women with a BMI < 30 kg/m2 being less knowledgeable. Knowledge about anesthetic problems and risks was less than that about medical and obstetric issues.

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