Childbirth is perhaps, the most painful experience encountered by most women and just like other forms of pain, the experience of labour pain is unique to individual women, so it is only the woman in labour who can describe the extent of pain she is going through. This study assessed the perceptions, attitude, intention to use, also predict factors that influence intention to use epidural analgesia among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic. The study adopted a cross-sectional design and was conducted among 200 randomly selected pregnant women attending Ante-natal Clinic of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Data were obtained using a structured questionnaire and were analyzed descriptively and inferentially. Statistical significance was determined at p < 0.05. The study revealed that majority (85%) of the respondents had good perception of epidural analgesia but majority (86%) displayed negative attitude toward epidural analgesia. More than half (56%) of the respondents got their information on epidural analgesia from nurses and midwives and 72.5% expressed their intention to use epidural analgesia (EA). Furthermore, there was significant relationship between ethnicity and attitude towards epidural analgesia (p= 0.001). Factors predicting intention to use EA include religion (B=0.99, p=0.016), perception of EA (B=-2.47, p=0.001), appropriate pain control (B=1.75, p=0.02), fear of pain procedure (B=-0.2, p=0.01). The study concluded that pregnant women in this setting have a desire to use EA for child birth. Factors that predict the use include perception, religion, and desire for pain control. Efforts should be intensity to improve on the negative attitude of the respondents as this will ensure prompt intervention which may result in positive birth outcome.
Key words: Perception, attitude, epidural, analgesia, pregnant women.
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