|Reproductive Health Policy in China: A Study of Preconception Care in Rural China|
|Assistant Professor, Texas Woman's University College of Nursing, USA|
IJWHR 2015; 3: 013-020
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Keywords : Reproduction, Health, Preconception Care, Policy, Rural China
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Objectives: Policy plays an important role in shaping preconception health and care. The purpose of this study was to explore how preconception care was defined in Chinese government policies. The specific aims of the study were to: (a) define and critically analyze the language of preconception care in the context of Chinese government policies and (b) explore rural women’s and healthcare providers’ views on preconception care-related government policies.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of Chinese preconception health and care-related policy at the national and provincial levels. The study included an analysis of publicly available preconception care policies issued before August 2009. In addition, individual interviews with rural women and healthcare providers were conducted from April 2009 to August 2009 in Tonglu County, Zhejiang Province, China.
Results: Three major discourses in relation to defining preconception care were identified from the policy documents: (a) preconception care in relation to women’s physiology, (b) preconception in relation to marriage registration, and (c) preconception care in relation to being married. Although participants recognized the governmental policy effort in relation to preconception health promotion, they still see policy as a formality.
Conclusion: This was the first study to examine language use in Chinese preconception care policies. The study found that the concept of preconception care was constructed mainly around marriage and that the public views these policies as a formality. Strategic plans are needed to increase societal awareness of the importance of preconception health policies in China.