Knowledge and practices regarding iodine supplementation: A national survey of healthcare providers

Kimberly Guess, Lenka Malek, Amanda Anderson, Maria Makrides, Shao J. Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Little is known of healthcare providers’ awareness and implementation of the National Health and Medical Research Council's recommendation regarding iodine supplementation during pre-conception, pregnancy and lactation. Aim To assess knowledge and practices of Australian healthcare providers in relation to the National Health and Medical Research Council's iodine supplement recommendation. Methods Obstetricians, gynaecologists, general practitioners, dietitians and midwives were recruited through their relevant professional bodies to participate in an online survey. Findings The survey was completed by 396 healthcare providers Australia-wide. While 71% of healthcare providers’ were aware of the National Health and Medical Research Council's recommendation for iodine supplementation, fewer were aware of the recommended dose (38%) or duration (44%). Seventy-three percent of healthcare providers recommended iodine supplements in pregnancy, 56% when planning pregnancy and 52% during lactation. The main reasons for not recommending iodine supplements included belief there was no need for iodine supplements due to mandatory iodine fortification of food (28%) and unawareness of the recommendation (25%). Awareness of the recommendation was positively associated with recommending iodine supplements while length of practice, time spent per consultation, age or area of practice were not associated with recommending iodine supplements. Discussion and conclusions There is a need to improve healthcare providers’ knowledge of and adherence to the National Health and Medical Research Council's iodine supplement recommendation. Strategies within antenatal and postnatal services, as well as public health initiatives, are required to improve the knowledge and practices of healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e56-e60
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Healthcare providers
  • Iodine supplementation
  • Knowledge
  • Practices
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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