Health Professionals:

Delivering the Message

The role of Florida's health care providers is crucial in meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals. Health care providers in Florida vary widely in their knowledge about folic acid and in their patterns of recommendation of folic acid to their patients.
Here is the breakdown of surveyed Florida health care providers who know the recommended dose of 400 micrograms/day of folic acid for women of childbearing age (Hauser & Lilly, 2004):

  • 89% of Obstetricians/Gynecologists
  • 88% of Nurse Midwives
  • 65% of Pediatricians and Family Physicians

When it comes to health care professionals actually making the recommendation of folic acid to women of childbearing age, the rates are somewhat disappointing. The percentage of surveyed Florida health care providers who routinely recommend folic acid to women of childbearing age is as follows (Hauser & Lilly, 2004):

  • 80% of Obstetricians/Gynecologists and Nurse Midwives
  • 51% of Family Physicians
  • 42% of Pediatricians

Health professional

Did you know? Eighty nine percent of women who do not take vitamins indicated that if their health provider counseled them about the benefits they would probably take it.

Although advances in fetal surgery for spina bifida are encouraging and provide hope for affected babies and their families, primary prevention should be underscored and can help many such families avoid the heartache of experiencing an NTD.

Health professionals