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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 142-146

Qualitative views on episiotomy amongst accouchers and pregnant women in a tertiary hospital in Southern Nigeria

1 African Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicological Research, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dokuba Tex-Jack
African Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicological Research, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_24_20

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Background: In 2018, the World Health Organization recommended the restrictive use of episiotomy by midwives and obstetricians on pregnant women undergoing vaginal birth. Unfortunately, the use of episiotomy is still fairly common in Africa. Aim: We examined the qualitative views on episiotomy amongst accouchers and pregnant women at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital in southern Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed. Census sampling was used to enrol 19 accouchers (house officer doctors = 7 and nurse-midwives = 12) and 43 third-trimester pregnant women. Narrative data were collected through focused group discussion using an interview guide and a digital audio recorder. Collected data were transcribed and subjected to coding, content and thematic analysis to enable categorisation of themes. Results: Respondents were 22–46 years old. The accouchers mentioned several indications for episiotomy which were not consistent with current evidence in literature. In contrast to pregnant women's views, the accouchers reported that episiotomy is a clinician's choice, so pre-informing the pregnant woman about it is optional. Pregnant women were of the view that they should be more involved by being the ones to decide whether they want to receive episiotomy or not. Even when the accouchers viewed episiotomy as having some clinical uses, the pregnant women suggested that episiotomy should be banned. Conclusion: The views of the accouchers and pregnant women were not totally aligned with each other. More sensitisation of accouchers and pregnant women is required to ensure re-alignment of views based on available evidence.

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