Pregnant women receiving specialized advice during pregnancy may be crucial to increasing the quality of their well-being throughout the childbearing process. A study by Ahmed (2016) appraises this claim’s verity, conducting a research process aimed at evaluating “the effect of counseling intervention on women’s knowledge, practices and lifestyle of fetal wellbeing among primigravidae” (p. 87). Thus, the research paper, published in 2016 in the refereed International Journal of Nursing Science, intended to advance the breadth of the existing knowledge on pregnancy counseling.
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Critiquing the Article
The title “Effect of counseling intervention on women’s knowledge, practices and lifestyle of fetal well-being among primigravidae” is reflective of the article’s content. Furthermore, the abstract succinctly summarizes the study and its findings that pregnant women’s quality of life benefits from counseling (Ahmed, 2016). The introduction makes the article’s subject and the researcher’s approach to it clear, providing a holistic-like rationale for conducting the study and introducing the problem through outlining the realities of first-time pregnancy fears (Ahmed, 2016). As such, its objectives are to compare the lifestyle practices of primigravidae before and after counseling and evaluate its effectiveness based on this comparison.
The theoretical framework outlines the “quasi experimental study design,” and while Ahmed (2016) does not include an explicit literature review, she correlates her study’s findings with previous research on this topic (p. 88). The questionnaire method delineates how the researcher addresses the outlined research questions (Ahmed, 2016). Finally, the performed analysis correlates with the proposed hypothesis, attempting to answer it based on the obtained data.
The paper is straightforward and easy-to-apperceive, while, however, missing some structural aspects. For example, Ahmed (2016) does not outline the limitations of her study explicitly, including only future recommendations for the implementation of her findings in practice, rather than theory or further research. Nonetheless, statistical evidence and graphs permeate the study, visualizing the changes in the participants’ attitudes towards their health post-counseling, and aiding the discussion of the results (Ahmed, 2016).
Furthermore, the pregnancy-related knowledge on which the study questioned women is similar to the information outlined as essential for preconception by Barron (2017), such as lifestyle and health care. Thus, the paper’s sources, which range from those published in 2007 to ones issued in 2014, help it achieve a relevant and factually supported result.
The Level and Quality of the Evidence
The study concludes that the attitudes of first-time pregnant women towards their health and lifestyle change for the better after counseling. These results are in-line with other pregnancy counseling-related studies, indicating the existence of a research trend (Devkota, Khan, Alam, Sapkota, & Devkota, 2017; Larsson, Karlstrom, Rubertsson, & Hildingsson, 2015).
Counseling is outlined as raising pregnant women’s satisfaction with the received healthcare services and overall knowledgeability, but not with elevating their pregnancy-related fears, which is compatible with the study’s hypothesis (Hildingsson, Haines, Karlstrom, & Nystedt, 2017; Larsson et al., 2015). Therefore, despite the lack of some structural elements within the paper, its congruency with similar studies, both past and future, allows positively gauging the quality of the evidence.
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The Significance of the Evidence in Practice
The found evidence holds significant implications for the betterment of the quality of life for primigravidae with a primary level of education and higher, as well as their fetus. Furthermore, a study by Mercado et al. (2017) has since identified that most pregnant women get their advice from the internet, which is not as reliable as information from healthcare professionals. Therefore, utilizing the positive effect of educated counseling may be imperative to increasing healthcare and lifestyle quality for primigravidae.
Pregnancy and all topics related to it remain a point of interest for various researchers. Therefore, the study helps further the existing research on such issues, advancing the goal of attaining a better level of care for a particular stratum of the population. Comparing the paper’s results against a credible body of literature compensates its structural drawbacks, such as the omission of sections explicitly designated for discussing its limitations or conducting a literature review. Thus, the quality of the procured results and their implications for first-time pregnancy counseling remains sufficient.
Ahmed, A. R. S. (2016). Effect of counseling intervention on women’s knowledge, practices and lifestyle of fetal well-being among primigravidae. International Journal of Nursing, 6(4), 87-93. Web.
Barron, M. L. (2017). Preconception counseling and care. In N. J. Cibulka & M. L. Barron (Eds.), Guidelines for nurse practitioners in ambulatory obstetric settings (2nd ed., pp. 3-12). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Devkota, R., Khan, G. M., Alam, K., Sapkota, B., & Devkota, D. (2017). Impacts of counseling on knowledge, attitude and practice of medication use during pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17(1), 131-137. Web.
Hildingsson, I., Haines, H., Karlstrom, A., & Nystedt, A. (2017). Presence and process of fear of birth during pregnancy – findings from a longitudinal cohort study. Women and Birth, 30(5), e242-e247. Web.
Larsson, B., Karlstrom, A., Rubertsson, C., & Hildingsson, I. (2015). The effects of counseling on fear of childbirth. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 94(6), 629-636. Web.
Mercado, A., Marquez, B., Abrams, B., Phipps, M. G., Wing, R. R., & Phelan, S. (2017). Where do women get advice about weight, eating, and physical activity during pregnancy? Journal of Women’s Health, 26(9), 951-956. Web.