Preeclampsia is a life-threatening condition unique to pregnancy that contributes to a significant number of maternal deaths worldwide. Delays in diagnosis and treatment are causal factors for maternal deaths from preeclampsia. Patients who are informed regarding this disease process may present earlier for evaluation. We sought identify which method of patient education is most effective.METHODS:
We compared women’s preeclampsia knowledge retention after exposure to different educational materials in a prospective randomized controlled trial. Singleton primigravid patients at a tertiary care center were given a survey regarding preeclampsia knowledge at 18-25 weeks gestation, then randomized to preeclampsia education with a graphic card, educational video, or no educational tool. They were given the same survey again at 32-37 weeks gestation. We compared the change in preeclampsia knowledge scores for each type of education.RESULTS:
150 subjects completed both initial and follow up preeclampsia knowledge surveys. 56 received education with the graphic card, 45 were educated with the video and 49 received no further education. There was no difference in preeclampsia knowledge score when the graphic card, video or no further education groups were compared. There was a significant improvement in knowledge score for all subjects, with a mean baseline score of 51.7% and a mean follow up score of 61.4% (P = <0.001).CONCLUSION:
There is no additional improvement of patient knowledge retention when patients receive education with a graphic card or an educational video compared to routine prenatal counseling without the addition of these educational tools. Patient knowledge regarding preeclampsia appears to improve from the second to third trimester regardless of method of patient education.