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Vol. 36 (2010) No. 8 P 533-541




Recently,substantial epidemiological research has clarified that folic acid decreases the incidence of fetal dysraphia such as spina bifida and anencephaly.Consequently,the Ministry of Health,Labour and Welfare (MHLW) now recommends that women of child-bearing age take folic acid proactively.However,previous consumer surveys on folic acid performed by many organizations have shown that pregnant women have little knowledge of the usefulness of folic acid,and few women of child-bearing age take folic acid on initiative.In our research,we carried out a questionnaire survey on awareness of folic acid among females aged 10-39 years and provided information on appropriate folic acid intake.The information was provided by community pharmacists and we verified the effectiveness of doing this.In the initial questionnaire,many subjects selected“don’t know”for all items concerning folic acid surveyed.In particular,hardly any knew that folic acid reduces the risk of congenital abnormality occurrence,and that the MHLW recommends that child-bearing women take folic acid.One month after providing people with information on folic acid,the results of a survey showed that their understanding of it had increased significantly for all items but in a similar survey conducted after six months,indicated that their understanding had decreased significantly for several items,as compared to results for one month after receiving information.These results showed that a health promotion intervention by community pharmacists raised consumer awareness and strongly suggested that this is an effective approach in primary care practice.However,the temporary nature of this effect suggested that there is a need for repeated provision of information.

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