Survey of Current Practice of Labour Analgesia Among Obstetricians in Nigeria: Implications For Pain- free Labour Initiative.
This descriptive cross-sectional questionnaire-based study on the availability and practice of intra-partum analgesia services was conducted among practitioners at the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology of 3 tertiary health institutions located in 3 of the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Of the 120 questionnaires distributed to the participants, 81 (67.5%) of the respondents returned completed questionnaires. The age range of the respondents was 25-44 years with a mean age of 30.8 and a male to female ratio (M: F) of 1.7: 1. Majority of the respondents, 76 (93.8%) believed that intra-partum analgesia was important, epidural analgesia was the most known method of intra-partum analgesia by 86.4% of the participants and epidural analgesia was the most preferred, 61.7% of respondents. Majority of respondents, 66 (81.5%), did not have an institutional policy or protocol on intra-partum analgesia. Doctors working in the same centre responded differently to the questions in the distributed questionnaires; and this is suggestive of lack of departmental harmonisation of clinical practice in the form of Standard Operating Protocol on intra-partum analgesia.
Although there is a high level of knowledge of intrapartum analgesia among physicians, inconsistencies in its practice exist within and between tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. Notable absence of institutional policies on intra-partum analgesia at the practice facilities of the respondents was also observed.
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