Is Mode of Delivery a Determinant of Postpartum Health-Related Quality of Life in Nigerian Women?
Background: Women experience many changes that might affect their well‑being during the postpartum period. In some climes, there is an established association between mode of delivery (MOD) and postpartum health‑related quality of life (HRQoL), but there is a dearth of related literature in southeastern Nigeria. Such information will guide health‑care providers on health promotion strategies for improved maternal and infant well‑being.
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the influence of MOD on HRQoL of Nigerian postpartum women.
Material and Methods: This was a cross‑sectional descriptive survey of 200 postpartum women in Enugu, Nigeria. Information on maternal characteristics was collected with a structured questionnaire, while the investigation of their postpartum HRQoL was with the Short Form 36 health survey questionnaire.
Results: In general, the majority of the respondents had moderate HRQoL values in most domains, including physical function, bodily pain, general health (GH), energy and fatigue, social function, and perceived mental health. Values for role limitations as a result of physical and emotional problems were predominantly low. HRQoL scores did not significantly vary between the cesarean section (CS)
and spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD) groups. MOD was a correlate of respondents’ GH with women in the CS group showing lower values, as compared to those with SVD.
Conclusion: In general, postpartum women in this study recorded low‑to‑moderate HRQoL scores. MOD was a determinant of their GH scores. Follow‑up interprofessional health care is recommended in the postpartum period to improve HRQoL.
Keywords: Health‑related quality of life, mode of delivery, Nigeria, postpartum, women’s health