Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Leafblad, Daniel


Knowledge of behaviors that contribute to a healthy pregnancy may enhance the overall pregnancy experience. However, there are currently no studies that evaluate where discrepancies exist between current recommendations of behaviors contributing to healthy pregnancies and knowledge of those behaviors in women ages 18-25. The objective of this study was to determine where those discrepancies exist. Survey data of women’s knowledge was compared to current recommendations set forth by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The behaviors assessed included alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, sleeping, caloric intake, exercise, caffeine intake, weight gain, and folic acid intake. This knowledge was assessed using a survey taken either on a printed-paper copy or online using secure Qualtrics software. The survey also assessed which learning method(s) was most preferred by women aged 18-25. Surveys were distributed to women visiting Metro Women’s Center in Crystal, Minnesota, and to students at Bethel University. The students at Bethel University included students from Dr. Timothy Shaw’s Anatomy courses and the Physician Assistant Program Class of 2017. The data revealed multiple areas in which further education is needed regarding these behaviors. Of these areas, most notable was the need for further education regarding folic acid intake (both before and during pregnancy). Questions regarding areas such as alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking were more frequently answered correctly. Overall, this study demonstrated an urgent need for further education regarding behaviors that contribute to a healthy pregnancy.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons