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Open Access Toward better compliance with iron–folic acid supplements: Understanding the behavior of poor urban pregnant women through ethnographic decision models in Vadodara, India

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This study made an attempt to develop ethnographic decision models to understand and improve iron–folic acid supplement procurement and compliance-related behaviors of poor urban pregnant women in Vadodara, India, based on data obtained through the use of qualitative research tools. Open-ended, in-depth interviews were conducted with 36 pregnant women (17–32 weeks of gestation) purposively selected from four urban slums. Fortnightly home visits were made to the houses of 20 pregnant women–family member pairs to elicit behaviors related to iron–folic acid supplement procurement and compliance at the household level, from which the ethnographic decision models were developed. The hemoglobin levels of these women were also assessed. Regular counseling until delivery, based on the ethnographic data, helped to improve compliance, which resulted in 95% of the women consuming over 90% of the required dose. The mean hemoglobin level also improved from 9.6 to 11.08 g/dl until the end of the last trimester. This study highlighted the need for qualitative ethnographic data to develop such models that would help in the understanding of specific behaviors that influence program acceptance. Such data would have policy-level implications, for example, developing appropriate information-education-communication material and counseling strategies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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