Awareness, attitude and use of labor analgesics by pregnant women at State Specialist Hospital, Akure
Background: Pain relief during labor has always been associated with myths and controversies. Several groups of people think that God has made this process painful and no interference should be done in it. In the present civilization, there is no circumstance where it is considered acceptable for a person to experience severe pain, amenable to safe intervention while under a physician’s care.
Objective: This study assessed the level of awareness of pregnant women about labor analgesia and factors preventing them from having analgesia in labor.
Study Design: This study is a descriptive cross‑sectional study.
Methodology: Questionnaires were used to obtain information on awareness, attitude and use of labor analgesia from pregnant women at the booking clinic visit. Three hundred (300) consenting pregnant women were recruited into the study including provision for attrition. Data were analyzed with the Statistical Package for Social sciences (SPSS) 20. Proportions were calculated for independent variables while crosstabulation was done for related variables to find P value for statistical significance.
Results: Level of awareness of labor analgesia was 21%. Majority of the respondents (70.3%) believe that among all health professionals, it is doctors that should inform them about labor analgesia. Only 4.4% had used labor analgesic in their previous deliveries. About 81% of respondents desire labor analgesia in their next delivery. Among factors analyzed, only severity of last labor had significant influence on the patient’s desire for analgesia in their next delivery (P value = 0.026).
Conclusion: The awareness rate of pregnant women about labor analgesia is very low. Therefore, all efforts must be made to ensure that discussions about labor analgesia are commenced as early as at the booking visit to improve on pregnant women’s awareness about labor analgesia and help their acceptability and choices. Attitude towards labor analgesia is not influenced by type of facility where the delivery took place suggesting possibility of socio‑cultural influence of the people in the area of study on the practice of labor analgesia.
Keywords: Attitude; awareness; labor analgesia; labor pain