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Knowledge and Attitude towards Prevention of Pregnancy induced Hypertension among Women
The study explores the knowledge and attitude of pregnant women towards the management of pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH).
It was a descriptive study, sampling technique was purposive and data was collected using a self-administered structure questionnaire.
A sample of two hundred pregnant women was selected and data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Almost half of the participants were between the ages of 21 to 30 years (49.0%), with highest level of education as tertiary (58.0%) and 26.5% are currently pregnant for an average of 21 to 29 weeks.
Knowledge and attitudes assessment indicated a high proportion of awareness (82.0%), hospital’s education (65.5%), and the majority (58.0%) believed that anybody can have pregnancy induced hypertension and (75.5%) relate the possible causes to eating too much salt, stress (57.5%) and over weight (49.5%).
Most of the participants prefer to visit hospitals/clinics whenever they have headache (63.5%), abdominal pain (72.5%), swollen face and leg (65.5%), reduced foetal movement (77.5%), high blood pressure (65.0%), nausea and vomiting (60.0%) and blurred vision (62.5%).
The study recommended that consideration be given to richer advocacy beyond creating awareness on PIH but also advocacy for women and girl children to acquire formal education so as to better appreciate modern medical services in Nigeria.
Higher formal education and the urban place of residence of the participants’ accounts for increased application of knowledge on pregnancy induced hypertension; this makes them visit the clinics in the event of any observed issue in relation to their health as pregnant women.
Background of the Study
Pregnancy induced hypertension is said to be an increase in the blood pressure of above 140/90 mmHg with the clinical manifestations usually occurring during the 20th weeks of gestation or late in pregnancy in a woman with no previous history of hypertension.
Adesokan (2011), defined pregnancy induced hypertension as a condition where the systolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 140/90mmHg and diastolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 90 mmHg measured in at least two separate occasions after the 20th weeks of gestation in previously non- proteinuric woman.
Although the real cause of hypertension is unknown, certain factors are known to increase the risk of pregnancy induced hypertension; examples of such factors are pregnant women with the first pregnancy and pre-existing hypertension or previous episodes of pre-eclampsia and pregnant women younger than 20years of age.
It occurs in about 5-8% of all pregnancy worldwide and has been regarded as the third most common cause that contributes greatly to maternal morbidity and mortality rate (pang and Roy, (2010).
Women acquired the disease annually worldwide and about 70% are from developing countries while over 500,000 women die annually from complications arising from pregnancy, delivery and over pueperium 55,000 women die in Nigeria.
According to Muhammad and Rosellia (2011), Substantial numbers of antenatal mothers exhibit lack of adequate knowledge regarding the prevention of pregnancy induced hypertension.
The public health perspective on early and regular prenatal care found a lack of knowledge regarding pre-eclampsia among antenatal women and that most women only visit the hospital when they have headache and blurred vision (Olayinka, 2013).
The Patient’s knowledge about pregnancy induced hypertension and its prevention is very important as it influences patient’s altitude towards seeking medical care (Williams 2012).
According to Harrison (2009). Pregnancy included hypertension occurs in about 5-8 of all pregnancies and more severe cases are frequently associated with inadequate knowledge of the disease and its prevention both in developed and developing countries.
Salanke and Ohusanya, (2012) identified that inadequate knowledge, negative attitudes and lack of preventive practices in the part of the pregnant women who have or with strong traditional belief are the major hindrances to efforts at reducing maternal mortality.
Most women have negative attitude towards the prevention of pregnancy induced hypertension because some women are still consuming excessive salty diet and refuses to lose weight even though they are obessed (Calder and Dunlop, 2012).
Weissgeber (2010) hypothesized that losing weight and exercise during pregnancy prevent pre-eclampsra by improving vascular function.
Early booking, regular antenatal clinic attendance and contextual health education are measures for preventing pregnancy induced hypertension and needs to be encouraged. Xiong (2016).
It is suggested that the availability, accessibility and quality of pregnancy health care information system still need to be improved and education programme regarding pregnancy induced hypertension should be widely improved, promoted among antenatal mothers, thus this study seeks to assess the knowledge and attitude of pregnant women towards the prevention of pregnancy induced hypertension in General Hospital, Iquita-Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
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