• Article

Couples' notions about preconception health: implications for framing social marketing plans

PURPOSE: To understand couples' notions of preconception health (PCH) and to inform the development of social marketing plans focused on PCH. APPROACH/DESIGN: We used a social marketing perspective to understand how couples considered PCH as a product, its potential price, how it should be promoted, and in what type of places it should be promoted. These variables are typically referred to as the four social marketing P's. SETTING: Telephone interviews with couples recruited from a national database. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 58 couples (116 individuals) were segmented by five couple segments based on pregnancy planning intention and current parental status in which the wife or partner was 18 to 44 years of age. The five segments were combined into three categories: couples who were planning pregnancies, couples who were not planning pregnancies, or couples who were recent parents (interconception). METHOD: Couple-based structured interviews lasting approximately 45 to 60 minutes were conducted via telephone. Questions inquired about couples' experience with PCH and the four social marketing P's. RESULTS: Commonalities existed across the four social marketing P's for the different couple segments. Notable couple-related themes that emerged included the importance of couple communication, support, and relationship quality. PCH was more relevant for couples planning a pregnancy, but nonplanning couples understood the benefits of PCH and related behaviors. CONCLUSION: Couples may be an important target audience when considering social marketing approaches for PCH. Many couples perceived the relevance of the issue to important aspects of their lives, such as health, family, and their relationships


Lewis, M., Mitchell, EW., Levis, DM., Isenberg, K., & Doto, J. (2013). Couples' notions about preconception health: implications for framing social marketing plans. American Journal of Health Promotion, 27(Sp3), S20-S27. https://doi.org/10.4278/ajhp.120127-QUAL-65