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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-17

Women's awareness of obstetric danger symptoms: is there a need to promote a preconceptional educational program?

Department of Community Medicine Research, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dalia M Elmosalami
Department of Community Medicine Research, National Research Center, 12311 El Behoos Street, Doki, Giza
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-4293.159369

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Background/aim Awareness towards the symptoms of obstetric complications will lead to timely access to appropriate emergency obstetric care. The aim of the study was to assess and compare the awareness towards obstetric danger symptoms among never-pregnant and ever-pregnant women and to identify predictors of their awareness as a measure for the need to promote a preconceptional educational program in Egypt. Participants and methods This study was conducted in selected villages of Alfayoum and Benisuef governorates as a comparative study between 173 newly married never-pregnant women and 827 ever-pregnant women who were randomly targeted by a structured interview during a period of 8 months. The questionnaire included personal data, social data, and data related to awareness of obstetric danger symptoms, complications, and action taken on having any of these symptoms. The scoring system was designed for women's awareness, with one degree allocated for a correct answer. Results The study revealed that the percent of women who gained a score of knowledge of at least 50% was higher among ever-pregnant women than among never-pregnant women (43.9 and 19.1%, respectively). Although bleeding is the highest reported cause for obstetric complications and is one of the reported causes of maternal deaths in the studied villages, only 26.6 and 20.2% of the never pregnant and 43.9 and 34.3% of the ever pregnant groups, respectively, knew that bleeding is a danger symptom during delivery and the postnatal period. Meanwhile, better awareness about obstetric danger symptoms and exposure to health educational messages was significantly higher among ever-pregnant women (OR = 3.08 and 2.28, respectively) (P < 0.001). Conclusion This study reflects the need for intensifying antenatal health educational messages given to pregnant women and the need for the implementation of preconceptional health education programs.

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