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To quantify factors influencing iron supplementation compliance and
haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations among pregnant women participating in an
iron supplementation programme under routine field conditions.
Cross-sectional interviews and Hb measurements.
Albay and Sorsogon provinces, Bicol, Philippines.
Three hundred and forty-six pregnant women receiving iron supplements via the
Philippine iron supplementation programme.
Women had a mean Hb concentration of 10.75 ± 1.43 g
dl−1, and 56.4% were anaemic (Hb < 11.0
g dl−1). On average, the first prenatal visit occurred
at nearly 4 months (3.80 ± 1.56). The ratio of visits to number
of months pregnant was 0.51 ± 0.24. Self-reported consumption of
pills received was 85% (0.85 ± 0.23), although pill counts
suggested that consumption was 70% (0.70 ± 0.35). Using multiple
regression, an earlier first prenatal visit and greater self-reported
compliance were positively associated with Hb concentrations. Additionally,
perceived health benefits from taking the supplements and higher health
programme knowledge were positively associated with pill consumption, while
experiencing side-effects and disliking the taste of the supplements were
associated with lower pill consumption. A greater number of living children
was negatively associated with the frequency of prenatal visits. The number
of children was also directly negatively associated with Hb
Compliance was positively related to Hb concentrations. Several factors
associated with greater compliance were identified, including marital
status, number of children, health programme knowledge, side-effects,
perceived health benefits, and dislike of taste. Some of these factors may
serve as avenues for interventions to increase compliance, and ultimately Hb
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