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Women die from a wide range of complications in pregnancy, childbirth or after delivery, and amidst these complications is pre-eclampsia, which is one of the major causes of maternal death and disability in Nigeria. To improve maternal health, barriers that limit access to quality maternal health services must be identified and addressed for any intervention program to be effective. The objective of the study was to investigate the factors associated with the health care-seeking behaviours regarding pre-eclampsia among pregnant women attending antenatal centres in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria.
The study design was cross-sectional, utilizing a pre-tested 42-item questionnaire (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.81) to collect information about knowledge regarding pre-eclampsia, perceived susceptibility, seriousness, and perceived benefits of good health care-seeking behaviour among pregnant women attending maternity centres in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. Four hundred participants recruited from eight antenatal centres in randomly selected eight communities in Sagamu, participated in the study. Pearson’s bivariate correlation was used to examine relationships between independent and dependent variables while multiple regression was adopted to test for the hypothesis.
Results showed that Knowledge about pre-eclampsia as an important pregnancy complication measured on a 16-point scale recorded a mean score of 6.82 (±3.53) and perception of pre-eclampsia considered in three sub-domains of susceptibility, seriousness and benefit, measured on a 30-point scale, similarly recorded a mean score of 13.41 (±5.39); while health care-seeking behavior, measured on a 30-point scale, showed that participants in the study recorded a mean scored of 9.96 (±8.11). Knowledge about pre-eclampsia was below average (42.6%), perceived susceptibility, seriousness and benefit measured was 39.3%, 50.7%, and 49% respectively, as well as their health care-seeking behaviour (33.2%). There is a significant relationship between the variables and health care-seeking behaviour regarding pre-eclampsia (P=0.0001). However, perception domain regarding pre-eclampsia predicts health care-seeking behaviour more significantly (R – 0.57 = 57%; R2 = 0.33; F-value = 194.44; β = 0.86; P-value = 0.0001 < 0.0005)
In conclusion, there is poor health care-seeking behaviour among respondents regarding pre-eclampsia in the study area which according to the finding, is as a result of low level of knowledge about the disease with low perception level about the condition. Therefore, in order to correct this, there should be an aggressive health promotion intervention designed to empower women with the required knowledge and thereby, increasing their perception level regarding pre-eclampsia, especially perceived susceptibility to pre-eclampsia, that will prompt good health care-seeking behaviour. This will in turn make future interventions effective.
Keywords: Pre-eclampsia, Intervention, Behaviour, Knowledge, Perception, Susceptibility
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