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The number of women of advanced maternal age becoming pregnant is more likely to increase in the future, and this is risky because of various complications in the mother and baby. Reported here are partial findings from a larger descriptive study. These findings are perceptions of pregnancy risk among women of advanced maternal age and related obstetric factors of planned pregnancy, parity, gestational age and pregnancy complications. Convenience sampling took place with 190 women, 35 years or over, who were attending antenatal care in three tertiary hospitals in eastern Thailand. Data were collected from January-June 2018. The research instruments were a demographic and obstetric information form and the Thai version of the Perception of Pregnancy Risk Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics including the Pearson and Point biserial correlation coefficient.
Results revealed that participants had mean scores of perception of pregnancy risk of 32.90, which was at a low level. Obstetric factors related to risk perception were parity, gestational age and pregnancy complications. However, planned pregnancy had no significant correlation with risk perception. The findings suggest that participants’ perceptions of risk could be individual, based on parity, gestational age and pregnancy complications. Nurses and midwives need to assess women’s perceptions about the risk of pregnancy and instigate frequent discussions about this to promote health during prenatal visits. Further studies need to determine how perception of risk influences healthcare professionals’ communication with women of advanced age and to develop effective risk communication programs to ensure better pregnancy outcomes.
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