Awareness of spina bifida among family of affected child. A cross sectional questionnaire

Sharifah A. Othman, Abdulrazaq AlOjan, Mohammed AlShammari, Ahmed Ammar


Objectives: To evaluate the awareness of spina bifida (SB), risk factors and possible preventive measures among mothers who had been following in our clinic with a spina bifida affected child.


Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study with 38 mothers of SB patients who are following at SB and hydrocephalus clinic at King Fahad University Hospital, Khobar, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.

Results: Thirty-eight mother were included in this questionnaire. Most of the participants were Saudi (94.7%). Ten out of 38 women (26.3%) had used medications during pregnancy (pain medications and herbal drugs), 4 out of 38 (10.5%) had been exposed to imaging radiation, while 9 (23.7%) had experienced moderate to high grade fever (39-41°C) during pregnancy. Moreover, the majority (86.8%) of these women did not receive folic acid (FA) before pregnancy, and 42.1% of them did not have FA during their first trimester. Only one (2.6%) gave positive family history of SB while, 6 (15.8%) reported having other SB children. 


Conclusion: There is a considerably low level of awareness in mothers of SB patients despite prevalence of this anomaly in the Eastern province. This necessitates an effort from health care providers to educate the community about this birth defect entity. Furthermore, genetic counseling should be encouraged especially in those who have a positive familial history for better understanding. Also, larger sample size with randomized controlled trials and larger epidemiological studies should be implemented.




Saudi Med J 2019; Vol. 40 (7): 727-731
doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.7.24264


How to cite this article:
Othman SA, AlOjan A, AlShammari M, Ammar A. Awareness of spina bifida among family ofaffected child: A cross sectional questionnaire. Saudi Med J 2019; 40 (7): 727-731. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.7.24264.



spina bifida; neural tube defects; awareness; knowledge; FA

Full Text:



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