Patients' Perception of Antenatal Care at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital
Background: Antenatal care is considered an important aspect of maternity care and is generally believed to positively influence the outcome of pregnancies. This reason informs the regular antenatal attendance by expectant mothers. This study aims to determine the views of expectant mothers on the value and benefits of antenatal care and their satisfaction with the service delivery at the routine antenatal clinic.
Methodology: Five hundred randomly selected antenatal clinic attendees at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital were surveyed using a pretested interviewer administered questionnaire from September to November 2005. Four hundred and forty four of the five hundred questionnaires were retrieved for analysis. Data management was done using SPSS 11 for Windows® statistical software.
Results: Most of the respondents (98.4%) thought antenatal care has benefits and could list at least one benefit. Majority (87.4%) felt the traditional antenatal clinic visits were adequate while 3.8% felt they were too frequent. More than two-thirds (72.3%) waited beyond 2 hours before consultation with the doctors. Fear of possible industrial strikes which disrupts health services in the Teaching Hospital compelled patients to have parallel antenatal care with other health facilities. Twenty eight respondents (6.3%) felt the members of staff have a very hostile attitude towards antenatal patients.
Conclusion: Expectant mothers agree there are health benefits derived from antenatal care. They are satisfied with the traditional antenatal visits. However, long waiting time, industrial strikes and hostile staff attitude were the negative perceptions of the antenatal care in our hospital.
Keywords: Antenatal care, Health benefits, Negative perceptions.