Behaviors, beliefs, and recommendations to optimize promotion of safe fish consumption before and during pregnancy: a physician survey Journal Article uri icon
  • INTRODUCTION: Eating fish before and during pregnancy is important but care must be taken to choose fish which maximize developmental outcomes. Physicians, a trusted health information source, could provide this nuanced communication. This cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of 400 family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) physicians in Minnesota was designed to understand physician behaviors and beliefs about safe fish consumption, describe barriers to physician-patient conversations about safe fish consumption generally and as part of prenatal care and to identify resources to help facilitate conversations on this topic. METHODS: Data was collected January to April 2020. Two hundred nineteen surveys were completed (55% response rate) with 194 reporting seeing patients at least 1 day a week. Descriptive survey results from all were summarized and analyzed overall and by physician specialty. Responses to 3 open-ended questions were thematically coded to enrich the quantitative results. RESULTS: While 62% of these reported discussing nutrition topics, only about one-third reported discussing with patients the benefits and about one-quarter the risks of eating fish. Despite the relative infrequency of fish discussions, almost all (>90%) respondents agreed that it is important to discuss fish consumption with people who are or may become pregnant. The largest reported barrier to these conversations was time (82%), and the most endorsed resource to overcome identified barriers was talking points (72%). CONCLUSIONS: Because physicians report limited time, resources that facilitate fish consumption should be succinct while serving to both nudge the message and direct clinicians and their patients to robust information.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2022
  • Research
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Food
  • Health Promotion
  • Perinatal Care
  • Physicians
  • Pregnancy
  • Questionnaires
  • Additional Document Info
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