Context: Preconception folic acid intake is necessary for optimal embryogenesis. Using the health belief model is excellent to improve
the young women's belief towards recommended healthy behaviors of taking folic acid.
Aim: The study aimed to examine the effect of the health belief model on nursing students' perception of the benefits of pre-conceptional
folic acid intake.
Methods: A quasi-experimental design (pre-posttest) was used. The research was conducted at the Faculty of Nursing, Benha University
on a purposive sample of (120) 4th-year female nursing students. Two tools of data collection were used. They are a self-administrated
questionnaire and a Health Belief Model Scale.
Results: There was a highly statistically significant difference concerning all items of nursing students' knowledge regarding pre
conceptional folic acid intake pre and post-program (P ≤ 0.001). Furthermore, the mean total score of the health belief model subscales
post-preventive program is significantly higher than a pre-preventive program (P ≤ 0.001). Meanwhile, the mean score of perceived barriers
post-preventive program is significantly lower than a pre-preventive program (P ≤ 0.001).
Conclusion: The health belief model improved nursing students' perception of pre-conceptional folic acid intake benefits. The study
recommended applying the health belief model for all female university students as preventive behavior toward the benefits of preconceptional
folic acid intake