A qualitative study of pregnant teenagers’ perceptions of the acceptability of a nutritional education intervention

Andrew G. Symon, Wendy L. Wrieden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: in order to assess the feasibility of nutritional education intervention sessions for pregnant teenagers, standard dietary assessment schedules were supplemented by a qualitative appraisal. Reported in this paper are the perceptions of pregnant teenagers who attended one or more of these sessions. Design: qualitative study using a phenomenological approach. Data were collected using semi-structured tape-recorded group interviews. Setting: two community centres and one maternity unit in Tayside, Scotland. Participants: ten pregnant teenagers aged 16–18 years. Interventions: all had attended one or more of a series of food preparation sessions led by a midwife. Food to take away was provided, as were supermarket vouchers. Findings: those who attended found the sessions to be social, educational, and practical. These young women appreciated being in a group which did not include ‘older’ pregnant women. To a limited extent they had changed their dietary habits at home. Food to take home was a significant attraction. Some of the teenagers sought maternity-related information from the midwife leading the session. Key conclusions: nutritional education remains an important public health issue. Despite offering a range of incentives, attracting teenagers to these sessions was difficult, making their economic feasibility questionable. Implications for practice: with better recruitment, such sessions could form an important part of improving nutrition and overall health for current and future generations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)140-147
    Number of pages8
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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