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Community's perceptions of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in Sindh Pakistan: a qualitative study.

TitleCommunity's perceptions of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in Sindh Pakistan: a qualitative study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKhowaja, A, Qureshi, R, Sheikh, S, Zaidi, S, Salam, R, Sawchuck, D, Vidler, M, von Dadelszen, P, Bhutta, ZA
JournalReprod Health
Volume13 Suppl 1
Date Published2016 Jun 08
KeywordsAdult, CLIP, Community Health Services, Community Participation, Eclampsia, feasibility, Female, Humans, Male, Maternal Mortality, Midwifery, Pakistan, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Perception, Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, Qualitative Research, Residence Characteristics, Rural Population

BACKGROUND: Maternal mortality is of global public health concern and >99 % of maternal deaths occur in less developed countries. The common causes of direct maternal death are hemorrhage, sepsis and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. In Pakistan, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia deaths represents one-third of maternal deaths reported at the tertiary care hospital settings. This study explored community perceptions, and traditional management practices about pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.

METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted in Sindh Province of Pakistan from February to July 2012. Twenty-six focus groups were conducted, 19 with women of reproductive age/mothers-in-law (N = 173); and 7 with husbands/fathers-in-law (N = 65). The data were transcribed verbatim in Sindhi and Urdu, then analyzed for emerging themes and sub-themes using NVivo version 10 software.

RESULTS: Pre-eclampsia in pregnancy was not recognized as a disease and there was no name in the local languages to describe this. Women however, knew about high blood pressure and were aware they can develop it during pregnancy. It was widely believed that stress and weakness caused high blood pressure in pregnancy and it caused symptoms of headache. The perception of high blood pressure was not based on measurement but on symptoms. Self-medication was often used for headaches associated with high blood pressure. They were also awareness that severely high blood pressure could result in death.

CONCLUSIONS: Community-based participatory health education strategies are recommended to dispel myths and misperceptions regarding pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. The educational initiatives should include information on the presentation, progression of illness, danger signs associated with pregnancy, and appropriate treatment.

Alternate JournalReprod Health
Citation Key526
PubMed ID27357953
PubMed Central IDPMC4943481