Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 608

Full Length Research Paper

Desire for pain relief in labour in Northeastern Nigeria

Bala Audu1, Usman Yahaya2, Mohammed Bukar1*, Aliyu El-Nafaty2, Hadiza Abdullahi1 and Othman Kyari1
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Gombe, Gombe State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 15 September 2009
  •  Published: 31 December 2009

Abstract

Labour pain is a distressing and psychologically traumatizing experience to the parturient but little data exist in the Northeastern part of Nigeria regarding pain relief in labour, despite its many advantages. To determine the knowledge, desire and access to pain relief in labour as well as perception of labour pain. This is a cross sectional study of two hundred and fifty five women in two tertiary institutions in north-eastern Nigeria. Patients attending the antenatal clinics or staying in the lying in ward of the hospital after delivery were interviewed and questionnaires filled. One hundred and ninety (74.5%) were undelivered while 65(25.5%) were in the immediate postpartum period. One hundred women were interviewed at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) while 155 were interviewed at the Federal medical Centre Gombe. The interviews centred on their perception of pain and duration of labour. The mean age and parity were 27.6 ± 5.7 and 2.8 ± 2.1 respectively. About 80% of those interviewed rated labour pain as severe to agonizing, 82% had no knowledge of pain relief in labour while 81.6 and 78.8% would like pain relief and recommended same, respectively. Only 11% of those interviewed were given pain relief in labour. The majority of women, 64.7% considered their labour as not prolonged. Parity (P = 0.0002), ethnicity (P = 0.020) and duration of labour (P = 0.00017) significantly influenced pain perception in labour while education (P = 0.25) and age (P = 0.4) had no significant influence on pain perception in labour. Although many of the women were not aware of pain relief in labour, the overwhelming majority would want and have recommended pain relief in labour.

 

Key wordsLabour pain, knowledge, desire