Women’s Views on Routine Antenatal Ultrasound Scan in a Low Resource Nigerian Setting QC21-QC25
Mr. Anthony Tagbo Agbata,
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Teaching Hospital,
PMB 102, Abakaliki, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria.
Introduction: Obstetric ultrasound is a popular and attractive management tool in Obstetrics. In recent times, it has gained wide acceptance amongst expectant mothers in many parts of the developing world. Many Obstetricians now regard it as an integral part of antenatal care. Despite this popularity, little is known about women’s views regarding the antenatal ultrasound scan in Nigeria.
Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the views of women on the routine antenatal ultrasound scan in Abakaliki, Southeast Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study involving 335 antenatal women who booked for antenatal care at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA), between July 2017 to November 2017. Sampling was by non probability sampling technique. The survey instrument was a semi structured questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 24.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.
Results: A total of 335 antenatal women were interviewed. Mean age was 27.9±4.3 years (range 17 to 44 years). Women’s knowledge of ultrasound use for antenatal care and the indications for the scan was high; 326 (97.6%) out of 334 and 244 (75.5%) out of 323 respectively. 254 (75%) out of 331 were not properly counselled before the ultrasound procedure. About 35 (10%) out of 333 thought the ultrasound scan could harm their unborn baby. 167 (52%) out of 321 of the women interacted with the sonologist during the ultrasound scan. After the procedure, 247 (76.0%) out of 325 participants had the ultrasound findings explained to them. About 275 (82%) out of 334 wanted to know the sex of their foetus. The ultrasound experience was positive for 198 (60%) out of 330 of the women.
Conclusion: Knowledge of antenatal ultrasound scan and the indication for the scan was high amongst present study women. There was equally a high level of interaction between the sonologist and the pregnant women during the scan. This may have contributed to the high rate of satisfaction and positive ultrasound experience recorded in this study. There was however, lack of proper counselling of the women by the obstetricians before the ultrasound procedure. Improvement in this aspect of patient care is needed to further enhance the ultrasound experience of present study women, and to reduce anxiety and dispel any misconceptions and irrational expectations regarding the antenatal ultrasound scan.