Results of a Dutch national and subsequent international expert meeting on interconception care
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Introduction: The potential value of preconception care and interconception care is increasingly acknowledged, but delivery is generally uncommon. Reaching women for interconception care is potentially easier than for preconception care, however the concept is still unfamiliar. Expert consensus could facilitate guidelines, policies and subsequent implementation. A national and subsequent international expert meeting were organized to discuss the term, definition, content, relevant target groups, and ways to reach target groups for interconception care.
Methods: We performed a literature study to develop propositions for discussion in a national expert meeting in the Netherlands in October 2015. The outcomes of this meeting were discussed during an international congress on preconception care in Sweden in February 2016. Both meetings were recorded, transcribed and subsequently reviewed by participants.
Results: The experts argued that the term, definition, and content for interconception care should be in line with preconception care. They discussed that the target group for interconception care should be “all women who have been pregnant and could be pregnant in the future and their (possible) partners”. In addition, they opted that any healthcare provider having contact with the target group should reach out and make every encounter a potential opportunity to promote interconception care.
Discussion: Expert discussions led to a description of the term, definition, content, and relevant target groups for interconception care. Opportunities to reach the target group were identified, but should be further developed and evaluated in policies and guidelines to determine the optimal way to deliver interconception care.