• Article

Consumers' Perceptions of Preconception Health

Purpose. To inform the development of a preconception health (PCH) social marketing plan, we conducted qualitative research with prospective consumers. Approach. We present formative findings based on the four Ps of social marketing: product, price, promotion, and place. Setting. We conducted focus groups with 10 groups of women in Atlanta, Georgia, in fall 2010. Participants. We classified women aged 18 to 44 into five groups based on their pregnancy plans, and then further segmented the groups based on socioeconomic status for a total of 10 groups. Method. The focus group guide was designed to elicit participants' responses about the product, price, promotion, and placement of PCH. We used NVivo 9 software to analyze focus group data. Results. Women planning a pregnancy in the future had different perspectives on PCH as a product than women not planning a pregnancy. Barriers to PCH included lack of social support, addiction, and lack of awareness about PCH. Participants preferred to think of PCH behaviors as 'promoting' a healthy baby rather than preventing an unhealthy birth outcome. Many women in the focus groups preferred to hear PCH messages from a health care provider, among other channels. Conclusion. The results from this research will inform the development of a social marketing plan for PCH and the development of concepts that will be tested with consumers to determine their viability for use in a national campaign


Squiers, L., Mitchell, EW., Levis, DM., Lynch, M., Dolina, S., Margolis, M., ... Doto, J. (2013). Consumers' Perceptions of Preconception Health. American Journal of Health Promotion, 27(Spec. Issue 3), S10-S19. https://doi.org/10.4278/ajhp.120217-QUAL-95