Knowledge, Attitude and Perceptions of Pregnant Women towards Caesarean Section among Antenatal Clinic Attendants in Cape Coast, Ghana

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.05.01.Art007

Authors : James KojoPrah, Andreas Kudom, Obed UwumbornyiLasim, Emmanuel KwasiAbu


Over the years, caesarean section has become increasingly safe and remains one of the most commonly performed surgeries in obstetric practice worldwide. Even though there is an increased rate of Caesarean section in both developed and developing countries, some studies have suggested that African women have an aversion for it. We therefore set out to assess the knowledge, attitude and perceptions of Ghanaian women towards caesarean section.
A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in the University of Cape Coast Hospital. A structured questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge, attitude and perception of 412 pregnant women towards caesarean section. Total knowledge was categorized as inadequate (<50%) and adequate (≥50%). All the 412 respondents were aware of caesarean section. There was, however, a low level of adequate knowledge (39.6%) among the respondents. Majority of the women (94%) preferred vaginal delivery to caesarean section as their primary mode of delivery. Although 40% perceived that most women undergoing CS may die, 95.7% were willing to undergo the operation when indicated. However, 4.3% of the pregnant women would refuse the surgery even if indicated. Formal education (p=0.018), parity (p=0.035) and a previous experience of caesarean section (p<0.0001) were significantly associated with adequacy of knowledge on caesarean section.
Even though there was a high awareness among the pregnant women, there was a low level of knowledge on caesarean section in our setting. Educational messages on caesarean section should be prepared to address especially issues on safety of the procedure and how post-operative pain is managed. Doctors should actively get involved in the education on caesarean section at the antenatal clinics, probably this will increase the knowledge of antenatal clinic attendants on CS.

Keywords: Caesarean section, awareness, knowledge, perception, University of Cape Coast Hospital, Ghana.


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